Lycra Company collaborates with Qore to make Lycra more eco
The deal will “enable the world’s first large-scale commercial production of bio-derived spandex using Qira, the next generation 1,4-butanediol (BDO), as one of its main ingredients”.
It will result in 70% of the Lycra fibre content being derived from annually renewable feedstock.
The change “could potentially” reduce the carbon footprint of Lycra fibre by up to 44% versus equivalent product made from fossil-based resources, it said, without compromising on performance and quality.
Qira will be produced at Cargill’s biotechnology campus and corn refining operation in Eddyville, Iowa, USA. That facility isn’t yet operational but will start operations in 2024.
Also, the first renewable Lycra fibre made using Qira will be produced at The Lycra Company’s Tuas, Singapore manufacturing site in that year.
The firm is “currently seeking commitments with brand and retail customers who are pursuing bio-derived solutions for their apparel”.
CEO Julien Born said Qore’s “expertise in operating fermentation processes and understanding of the chemical value chains makes them the ideal partner to help develop a bio-derived Lycra fibre at commercial scale”.
The first generation of the renewable fibre made with Qira will use feedstock from field corn grown by Iowa farmers. In addition to replacing a finite resource with an annually renewable one, another benefit for mills, brands and retailers is that “there is no change in fibre performance, eliminating the need for any re-engineering of fabrics, patterns, or processes”.