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Industry Talk

Kindly does it with biopolymers

Three years in development, Gelmart’s bra cup is 80% bio-based.

20th September 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  São Paulo, Brazil


The world’s first-of-its-kind plant-based bra cup sourced from sustainably grown sugarcane is the result of a new partnership between Braskem and Gelmart International for walmart.

Braskem, headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil, is the largest polyolefins producer in the Americas, as well as a market leader and pioneer of biopolymers on an industrial scale, and Philadelphia-headquartered Gelmart is a leading manufacturer of intimate apparel. 

Gelmart has designed, developed, and produced over 1.25 billion units of underwear, bras and shapewear for the world’s biggest retailers and brands. Its new kindly bra line is the culmination of more than three years of proprietary development, resulting in the world’s first mass-produced, plant-based bra.

Braskem is supplying its I’m green EVA biopolymer for the production, replacing the use of traditional foam materials.

“Our portfolio of I’m green plant-based materials is helping global consumer brands and manufacturers transition from legacy raw materials based on fossil fuels to more eco-friendly solutions,” said Edison Terra, executive vice president of Braskem.

“Real sustainability does not exist without accessibility,” added Gelmart CEO Yossi Nasser. “It’s important to us that our brands are known not only for quality products, but more for creating a movement towards a more eco-friendly and attainable lifestyle for all. So finding the right partner to provide the high-quality eco-friendly materials at scale was an essential factor in our strategy. Braskem was the natural choice for us as a leading supplier of biopolymers –its deep expertise in green EVA and collaborative approach were a perfect fit.”

Braskem’s I’m green bio-based EVA is sustainably produced from sugarcane, a renewable source that contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by CO2 capture. For companies wanting to adopt green EVA into a new product concept, it is ideal for use in apparel, footwear, children’s toys, general foams and much more.

“In my 40 plus years working in the industry, this was the most challenging project I’ve worked on – and it certainly feels the most rewarding,” said Eve Bastug, Gelmart’s chief product officer. “It took us three years to work towards a sustainable cup that is over 80% plant-based. Our goal is to never make consumers choose between function, plant and price, by creating beautifully crafted products that people can feel good about wearing.”

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