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Lycra at the forefront of eco-fibers, technologies for green fashion – WWD

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“Sustainability is based on the belief that to have a healthy business we must have a healthy planet,” according to The Lycra Company, which has redefined the focus on developing fabric technologies that help green the clothing industry. fashion.

Revered around the world for adding stretch to our approach, The Lycra Company is breaking new ground with recycled products, increased transparency and increased durability.

Here, Julien Born, Commercial Director of The Lycra Company, talks to WWD about his advances with eco-fabrics, his remarkable collaborations and his sustainability platform Planet Agenda.

WWD: Lycra has a wide range of durable fibers and fabrics. What are some of the recent innovations created by Lycra in the field of eco-fabrics?

Julien Born: One of our main goals is to reduce our environmental footprint and that of our customers by developing low impact products and processes.

Some recent product innovations in support of our sustainability efforts include:

• Expansion of our range of recycled EcoMade products: In fall 2019, we launched Lycra® EcoMade fiber, made in part from pre-consumer waste, and demand was strong. We are increasing our capabilities in this area with our plant in Monterrey, Mexico, which now produces Lycra® EcoMade GRS certified products. We also aim to convert the bulk of our CoolMax® and Thermolite® fibers to EcoMade (recycled) versions by the end of 2021 and we are on track to achieve this.

• Increased transparency: As we know, it is becoming more and more important to be transparent about what your products are made of and how they are made. Last month, 25 Lycra® fiber products were awarded Gold Level Material Health Certificates by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. This certification gives our customers the assurance of the safety of our ingredients and those of our suppliers and reinforces our commitment to green chemicals.

• Develop products with improved durability: One of the products that has received certification is our new Lycra® Non-slip fiber. With the increased use of polyester, rayon, and other fiber blends in denim, seam slippage is a challenge facing factories, brands, and retailers. This can lead to product returns and consumer dissatisfaction with the quality and aesthetics of the garment. Sliding seams can also affect the life of clothes after home washing. Patent pending Lycra® Anti-Slip fiber will help prevent seam slippage and improve garment quality and appearance. This was just presented at Kingpins24 in October, and we received a very positive response from the market.

Another popular option with enhanced durability is our Lycra® dualFX® technology which not only helps jeans maintain their shape throughout the day, but over time, extending life.

Julien born

Julien Born, commercial director of Lycra.

WWD: How do Lycra fabrics differentiate in the sustainability market? What are some of his landmark collaborations?

JB: We work closely with brands like American Eagle on denim innovations including our Lycra® dualFX® technology which provides increased garment durability and extended wear life. These attributes are growing in importance, especially among Gen Z consumers, as they are more aware of the impact their purchases have on the environment. And with business models such as clothing rental and resale on the rise, we need to design clothing for multiple owners / multiple lives. This is where technologies like Lycra® dualFX® can help.

Another collaboration that demonstrates our commitment to sustainability is with global retailer H&M, which recently launched its latest line of men’s clothing and women’s sports jackets with Thermolite® T-Down EcoMade insulation. Developed as a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to down feathers, Thermolite® T-Down EcoMade insulation is made from 100% post-consumer recycled polyester. This durable fiber brings warmth and comfort to trendy H&M designs.

WWD: How was Lycra affected during the pandemic? Have customers’ wants or needs changed?

JB: We quickly adapted how we operate and communicate to ensure we stay virtually connected to our customers while providing the level of service they expect from us.

We’ve also taken steps to leverage our digital infrastructure to help maintain connections across our business. Back at the start of summer, we launched a series of webinars to connect more with new and existing customers and complement our traditional b-to-b marketing activity.

During this unprecedented time, we have also seen that customers remain committed to pursuing their sustainability goals. In fact, on the contrary, the pandemic has raised awareness of the need for action. This is where options such as Lycra® EcoMade fiber can help deliver both increased durability, as well as the comfort, fit and performance consumers want.

WWD: How does Lycra define sustainability?

JB: Sustainability is based on the belief that in order to have a healthy business, we must have a healthy planet. Our sustainability platform, Planet Agenda, was launched in 2008 and touches all aspects of our business. We believe it can advance not only our own sustainability goals, but those of our customers as well. We achieve this primarily by discovering ideas and developing products and technologies that support a more sustainable and circular approach.

WWD: What’s next for Lycra?

JB: During the pandemic, consumers have become even more mindful of their purchases, seeking to invest in better quality clothing that lasts longer and has less of an impact on the environment. In response to this consumer dynamic, retailers are placing greater emphasis on innovation and differentiation when seeking to strengthen their competitive position.

This is where The Lycra Company can help by delivering a differentiated quality story focused on the performance benefits of our technology solutions. In addition, we continue to expand our portfolio of recycled products, focusing on innovations that extend the life of clothing, as well as developing a variety of solutions for the circular economy – stay tuned. listen to our latest offers!

For more commercial information from WWD, see:

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