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January 26, 2022updated 28 Jan 2022 10:09am

The Lycra Co harnesses cutting room scraps for new fibre

Performance fibre specialist The Lycra Company has launched a new fibre made from textile waste that would otherwise have been sent to a landfill or incinerated.

By Beth Wright

The Lycra Company’s new Thermolite EcoMade fibre is made from 100% textile waste. The warming technology involves recycling textile waste from cutting room floors that would have been sent to a landfill or incinerated, and transforming it into high-performance fibres for insulation.

Once fabric scraps are collected from garment makers, they go through a four-step process before becoming a finished product:

  1. Depolymerisation and refining
  2. Chip manufacture
  3. Fibre formation
  4. Batting and insulation production

“Our new textile waste fibre can be used in unique batting constructions to deliver outstanding warming performance infused with unparalleled sustainable attributes,” says Arnaud Ruffin, vice president, brands and retail at The Lycra Company.

“We are initially promoting the fibre in two versions of insulation—both thin-loft and mid-loft battings, each made with ≥ 85% of recycled fibres, including ≥ 50% Thermolite fibre made from recycled PET bottles and ≥ 35% made from the new textile waste product. Both batting offerings deliver durability and outstanding levels of performance combined with unmatched sustainability credentials for the outdoor industry, while warmth per unit weight and other insulation characteristics meet the industry’s highest expectations.”

By using textile waste as an input to make commercial performance fibres, The Lycra Company says it is providing a solution to help the industry deal with its textile waste problem, as well as creating a starting point for circularity.

The performance fibre specialist recently announced its largest manufacturing site in Foshan, China, has earned a high score for its third-party audited Higg Facility Environmental Module (Higg FEM).

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