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Consortium of brands trialling Kintra polyester

Unique combination of strength, softness and comfort stretch recovery has clear environmental benefits.

18th April 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  New York

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

In a year-long collaborative project orchestrated by Fashion for Good, the brands Bestseller, Inditex and Reformation will prototype materials based on the bio-based and biodegradable polyester developed by New York-based Kintra Fibers.

Converted into yarn, the Kintra resin has demonstrated impressive strength and durability comparable to traditional polyester in testing, while also being much softer. Additionally, it possesses an inherent stretch quality, with yarn test results indicating a stretch recovery of 10-15%. These properties have already been tested in various fabric constructions, including silk-like satin wovens, technical outerwear wovens and knits produced using air-jet texturing and draw-texturing

The unique combination of strength, softness and comfort stretch recovery produces materials with an ultra-soft hand feel and elegant drape without compromising a garment’s durability and longevity. This blend of characteristics has additional environmental benefits since textile engineers generally blend traditional polyester with cotton and spandex to achieve similar properties to Kintra monomaterial constructions, which will enable much easier recycling.

Kintra believes its resin production results in a 95% reduction in GHG emissions, a 30% reduction in water usage, and a 20% reduction in energy consumption compared to conventional polyester and anticipates even greater energy savings when it completes a full life cycle assessment, since its preliminary analysis did not include yarn spinning, dyeing, or finishing, for which Kintra uses a lower temperature.

“Kintra’s yarns and fabrics offer a versatility similar to traditional polyester, making them ideal for luxury, athletic and ready-to-wear markets,” says Katrin Ley, managing director at Fashion for Good. “Each brand in the consortium has chosen an application that is unique to its product design needs and sustainability goals.”

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