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March 30, 2021updated 12 Apr 2021 3:33pm

Lycra Co develops performance fibres from 100% textile waste

Performance fibre specialist The Lycra Company has developed its first performance offerings made from 100% textile waste.

Performance fibre specialist The Lycra Company has developed its first performance offerings made from 100% textile waste.

Coolmax and Thermolite EcoMade fibres are made from textile waste are the result of a strategic collaboration between The Lycra Company and Itochu Corporation, a general trading company with strength in consumer-related sectors, including the textile business.

The new offerings pair the brand equity and performance attributes of these cooling and warming brands with the sustainability benefits of textile waste, thus helping address a critical industry need.

“We are pleased to announce our alliance with Itochu in helping to address textile waste, which represents a substantial sustainability challenge as the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is sent to landfills or incinerated every second,” said Julien Born, chief commercial officer for The Lycra Company. “This collaboration exemplifies the synergistic approach we have to develop products and technologies that support a more sustainable future for our vast global customer base.”

This is the first of several innovations The Lycra Company is working on in textile and garment recycling. Laying the groundwork for a more circular future is one of the key objectives of the company’s Planet Agenda sustainability platform.

“Integrating textile waste technology with Coolmax and Thermolite fibres provides consumers with the performance attributes they seek, while making these industry-leading fibres in a new and responsible way,” the company explains.

A unique depolymerisation and refining process is used to convert textile waste, which consists of scraps from garment manufacturers, into fibres with properties comparable to virgin polyester. The new fibres are available in filament and staple forms, suitable for common textile processes and insulations batting uses.

The industry’s pre-eminent cooling and warming performance solutions, Coolmax and Thermolite fibres, have been made from recycled raw materials such as recycled PET bottles for many years. The company will continue to offer these products in parallel with those made from textile waste.

The new products can be purchased from The Lycra Company, except in Japan where Itochu will be responsible for sales and marketing. A variety of mills have access to the new offerings and will shortly begin to develop fabrics with them.

The Lycra Company recently completed the Higg Facility Environmental Module (FEM) self-assessment at all six of its Lycra fibre manufacturing sites.

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