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Lycra announces large-scale production of bio-derived spandex

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2022-10-03 07:59:57 – USA

The LYCRA Company, a global leader in developing innovative fiber and technology solutions for the textile and apparel industry, announced that it has entered a deal with Qore® to enable the first-ever large-scale commercial production of bio-derived spandex using QIRA®, the newest generation of 1,4-butanediol (BDO).

As a result, 70% of the fiber content in LYCRA® will come from yearly renewable feedstock. While preserving the same high-quality performance standards of conventional LYCRA® fiber, this adjustment has the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of LYCRA® fiber by up to 44%* when compared to a comparable product generated from fossil-based resources.

In Eddyville, Iowa, Cargill's biotechnology campus and maize refining facility will produce QIRA®. The facility, presently under construction, will start operating in 2024. The LYCRA Company's Tuas, Singapore production facility will start producing the first QIRA®-based sustainable LYCRA® fiber in 2024. The LYCRA Company is now looking for partnerships with retail and brand clients who are looking for bio-derived garment solutions.

Julien Born, CEO of The LYCRA Company, said that as part of their sustainability aims, they are committed to creating solutions that promote a more circular economy while helping their garment and personal care consumers minimize their impact. They are very happy to work with Qore®, a firm that shares their ambition for inventive, environmentally friendly solutions. They are the right partner to assist in the development of a bio-derived LYCRA® fiber at a commercial scale because of their proficiency in managing fermentation operations and comprehension of the chemical value chains.

Jon Veldhouse, CEO of Qore®, said that they're honored to work with The LYCRA Company to introduce this eco-friendly material to the market. This partnership demonstrates that QIRA® directly substitutes traditional BDO and thereby greatly enhances the fiber's sustainability profile. QIRA® is a cutting-edge platform chemical that can be applied in numerous industrial applications.

Field corn produced by Iowan farmers will be used as feedstock for the first generation of renewable LYCRA® fiber created with QIRA®, which will result in a sizable reduction in CO2 emissions. A further advantage for mills, brands, and retailers is that there is no change in fiber performance, negating the need for any re-engineering of fabrics, patterns, or processes, in addition to substituting a finite resource with an annually renewable one. In 2014, when the first spandex in the world made from biomaterials was introduced under the LYCRA® name, equivalent performance was shown. Since then, a patent for the method utilized to create sustainable elastane from BDO generated from plants has been given to the LYCRA Company.

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