The pandemic has given consumers time to reassess what kind of apparel they want to own. As more consumers begin to shift to sustainable purchasing, Hyosung is developing an eco-friendly stretch solution. The company is the leading producer of spandex, providing approximately one-third of the world’s supply.
As they hold the highest position in spandex supply, the company is playing an important role in the industry’s shift. Mike Simko, the global marketing director for textiles at South Korea-based fibre producer, stated that as many people believed due to cost consciousness, that people were not going to be as conscientious about circularity and sustainability and eco-friendliness, he believes that the empathy conversations are going to grow stronger. Mike explained that if the company wanted to retain the leadership role, they were required to step up and not just offer a solution product, but multiple sustainable products.
The reason behind the company’s efforts to develop multiple eco-friendly options is due to the fact that sustainability priorities differ for different brands. Some brands are concerned about the utilisation of non-renewable resources, in response, Hyosung came out with creora®, bio-based spandex replaces petroleum with corn. Apart for just replacing fossil fuels, the corn pulls carbon dioxide from the air as it grows. When this is merged with cotton, it allows brands to narrate a plant-based sustainability label.
Various other brands are more concerned with waste reduction, they could use creora regen spandex made of 100% reclaimed waste. Hyosung has taken additional steps to ensure all inputs are recycled rather than just utilising them as a fraction of the raw materials. n categories such as swimwear or activewear, mixing recycled nylon or polyester with recycled spandex expands the waste reduction impact of the garments.
Hyosung recently launched its creora eco-soft spandex. The new material can be heat set at temperatures of 20 degrees Celsius lower than conventional processes. This process not only saves energy but also allows for a softer hand-feel. Creora Black is dope dyed spandex yarn in black, this allows mills to reduce their water usage by pairing it with a black dope dyed Tencel or polyester.
More and more brands are looking to tackle the environmental impact of fashion by creating apparel that looks and feel good for a longer time frame. The main concern with stretch fabric is sagging or growth. Brands are looking for 50% stretch but with low growth of around 5%. Hyosung is looking to cater these brands needs with creora 3D Max. The traditional construction requires a blend of spandex with a stretch polyester, and polyester can limit the efficacy of eco-friendly laser finishing. The new Creora 3D Max has been composed in 100% spandex in its core, eliminating the polyester and allowing mills to put less of the stretch component into the denim. This is also easier on the pocket as the expensive polyester is eliminated.
The stretch fabrics have taken centre stage, as the industry shifts to circular ideas. Rather than eliminating synthetics, Hyosung sees the answer is a mix of more plant-based performance materials and ramped up recycling innovations.
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