Lycra Debuts EcoMade Fibers Made From Textile Waste

With Earth Day just around the corner, the timing feels right for The Lycra Company to announce the launch of its first performance offerings made from 100 percent textile waste, helping to “address a critical industry need.”

Its well-known cooling and warming performance solutions now made from textile waste — Coolmax and Thermolite EcoMade fibers, respectively — are the result of a strategic collaboration between The Lycra Company and Itochu Corp., a general trading company active in consumer-related sectors, including the textile business, the firm said.

The Lycra Company’s new and improved offerings “pair the brand equity and performance attributes of these leading cooling and warming brands with the sustainability benefits of textile waste” — and the end result is an integrated textile waste technology with Coolmax and Thermolite fibers that stays true to its performance roots, as the fibers are made from recycled raw materials, such as recycled PET bottles, in “a new and responsible way.”

The firm explained that a unique depolymerization and refining process is used to convert textile waste, which consists of scraps from garment manufacturers, into fibers with properties comparable to virgin polyester. The new fibers are available in filament and staple forms, suitable for common textile processes and insulations batting uses, the company said.

Its launch is the first of several innovations in textile and garment recycling for the firm — and continuing to lay “the groundwork” for a more circular future is one of its key objectives outlined in its Planet Agenda Sustainability platform.

Julien Born, chief commercial officer for The Lycra Company, said, “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.

“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.”

For more Business news from WWD, see:

Outerwear Brand Launches Upcycling Campaign

The Great Outdoors Is Having a Moment in Fashion

Field Notes: Textile Chemical Use Is Getting Greener

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