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Boss and Lycra invest in HeiQ AeoniQ yarns

Strategic partnership for production of game-changing decarbonising yarn.

14th February 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Zürich, Switzerland,

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

Following a Call for early adopters of climate positive yarn, Hugo Boss has become a front-runner in the race to adopt HeiQ AeoniQ yarns by putting a US$5 million equity investment in HeiQ AeoniQ LLC, a fully owned subsidiary of London listed HeiQ Plc., and additional contingent US$4 million based on performance milestone arrangements.

The Lycra Company has also become the exclusive distributor for HeiQ AeoniQ yarn by making a significant, undisclosed investment and by committing to develop the technology for broad application in textiles.

The strategic partnership will help Hugo Boss meet its ambitious sustainability targets which include the aim for climate neutrality within its own area of responsibility by 2030, and throughout the entire value chain by 2045. In addition, the company puts particular emphasis on establishing an end-to-end circular business model. The investment therefore perfectly fits in with Hugo Boss’ goal to strongly increase the proportion of more sustainable materials over the coming years. Over the mid to long term, Hugo Boss is focused on the potential to materially complement and substitute the currently used polyester and nylon fibres with the cellulosic HeiQ AeoniQ fibres.

Prior to Hugo Boss’ equity investment, The Lycra Company agreed to be the exclusive distributor for HeiQ AeoniQ yarn through payment of a milestone-driven technology fee and a commitment to leverage its deep textiles knowledge and market channel access to prepare this new technology for broad use in apparel applications.

“The financial commitments by such prestigious companies as Hugo Boss and The Lycra Company are strong endorsements of HeiQ AeoniQ’s game-changing potential. This also demonstrates our ability to commercialize our HeiQ AeoniQ IP, now with an implied valuation of US$200M. HeiQ AeoniQ yarn is a versatile alternative to polyester and nylon and its climate positive qualities create a very exciting market opportunity for HeiQ, as fashion brands and retailers come under increasing pressure to do their part in decarbonising their products and reduce their environmental footprints,” commented Carlo Centonze, co-founder & Group CEO of HeiQ.

The primary use of the raised proceeds would be to scale up and commercialize the disruptive technology. In this context, HeiQ AeoniQ LLC will build its first commercial giga factory in Central Europe by end of 2024 and is currently scaling-up its pilot commercialization plant for fibre production, scheduled for Q2 2022.

HeiQ AeoniQ (Aeon: striving for eternal circularity) – a continuous cellulosic filament yarn with the potential to compete with polyester and nylon fibres – constitutes a revolutionary, first-to-market and scalable proprietary apparel technology, which will allow the manufacturing of a sustainable, cellulosic yarn designed for circularity and closed-loop recycling that could ultimately substitute oil-based fibres. 

HeiQ AeoniQ yarns are made from cellulosic biopolymers that during growth bind carbon from the atmosphere. HeiQ AeoniQ yarn is designed to substitute existing oil-based filament yarns, such as environmentally persistent polyester and nylon, which constitute over 60% of global annual textile output of 111 M metric tons. The global polyester and nylon fibre market is worth an estimated US$135 billion USD with a CAGR of >3.5% over the next decade (Statista). For every ton of polyester and nylon substituted by HeiQ AeoniQ, potentially up to 5 tons of CO2 can be reduced, HeiQ says.

When compared to conventional polyester, nylon, cotton and conventional regenerated cellulosic products, the production of HeiQ AeoniQ yarns has the potential to transform the environmental impact of fibre production, as it is designed to be circular, uses 100% renewable energy for manufacturing, features a closed-loop recycling of more than 99.5% of productive factors, uses no toxic chemicals, and does not draw on arable land, pesticides or fertilizers for its feedstock.

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