The LYCRA Company, a global leader in fiber and textile solutions for the apparel industry, is pleased to announce the launch of its first performance offerings made from 100% textile waste. COOLMAX® and THERMOLITE® EcoMade fibers 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 leading 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 second1,” 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 that 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 LYCRA Company’s Planet Agenda Sustainability platform.
Integrating textile waste technology with COOLMAX® and THERMOLITE® fibers provides consumers with the performance attributes they seek, while making these industry-leading fibers in a new and responsible way. 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 industry’s preeminent cooling and warming performance solutions, COOLMAX® and THERMOLITE® fibers, 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.