Fashion for Good launches project to prototype Kintra Fibers’ materials

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2023-04-11 19:27:37 – Netherlands

Fashion for Good has launched a year-long collaborative project allowing a group of industry leaders, including Bestseller, Inditex, and Reformation,  to road-test a prototype of bio-based and biodegradable polyester in their clothing.

Kintra Fibers is in a good position to ramp up resin and yarn production in order to meet the volume requirements of their brand partners, thanks to a successful $8 million Series A fundraising round. H&M Group served as the funding's primary sponsor, with support from BESTSELLER Invest FWD, Fashion for Good, New York Ventures, Tech Council Ventures, FAB Ventures, and a small group of fashion-related angel investors.  

The material used in Kintra has undergone yarn testing, and the results demonstrate remarkable strength and durability on par with conventional polyester while also being far softer. The fabric also has an intrinsic ability to stretch; yarn test results show a stretch recovery of 10-15%, producing a pleasant stretch. The team has tested these characteristics in a variety of fabric constructions, including knits made using air-jet and draw-texturing techniques, knits used for technical outerwear, and woven fabrics with a satin-like sheen.

Camilla Skjnning Jrgensen, BESTSELLER's innovation manager, said that there is an obvious need for the industry to shift, given the considerable environmental effect of conventional polyester and the anticipated expansion of the synthetic fiber sector. They are thrilled to be one of the companies helping Kintra Fibers scale its innovative solution since it fits with their Invest FWD strategy, where they constantly research alternative fibers for long-term viability.

Katrin Ley, Managing Director at Fashion for Good, said that the luxury, sporty, and ready-to-wear segments all benefit from the versatility that Knirpa's yarns and fabrics provide, which is comparable to that of standard polyester. Each brand in the consortium has selected a particular application that best suits its requirements for product design and sustainability objectives. The consortium benefits from employing Kintra's materials to advance numerous applications while only prototyping one.

The material has an incredibly soft hand feel and an attractive drape thanks to this special blend of strength, softness, and stretch recovery without sacrificing the endurance and durability of the garment. Since textile experts typically need to blend standard polyester with cotton and spandex to create a soft, robust, and comfortable stretch cloth, this combination of qualities provides extra environmental advantages. All of these performance advantages are provided by Kintra's mono-material architecture, which also facilitates recycling.

Kathleen Talbot, Chief Sustainability Officer and Vice President of Operations at Reformation, said that they're honored to work with Fashion for Good and Kintra Fibers as a part of the first group of brands to prototype Kintra's materials. Reformation's environmental initiatives, notably their ambition to be Climate Positive by 2025, depending on developments like these that lessen their reliance on synthetic materials made from fossil fuels. It is up to the industry to actively participate in scaling new technologies like Kintra that could power the future of fashion.

By comparing its raw materials and resin production methods to those used to make traditional polyester, Kintra Fibers calculates the environmental impact of its products. As a result, they discovered that the production of their resin could result in a 95% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a 30% reduction in water use, and a 20% reduction in energy consumption. As the preliminary analysis did not take into account yarn spinning, dyeing, or finishing, for which Kintra utilizes a lower temperature than conventional polyester, the team forecasts even greater energy savings when it completes a full life cycle review. Scope 3 emissions in the supply chain for manufacturing may be reduced by processing the material at lower temperatures. 

Alissa Baier-Lentz, COO and Co-Founder of Kintra Fibers, said that Kintra's solution enables a shift toward an industry that works in harmony with the environment by being in line with both nature and current industrial processes. Kintra addresses the environmental impact of conventional polyester at every level, from manufacture to use and end-of-life, by leveraging bio-based inputs and inventing a biodegradable material from the onset, offering a holistic solution for a genuinely circular fashion sector.

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