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Lycra’s Sustainable Solutions at Dornbirn GFC

Two papers on industrially compostable Lycra and garment recyclability, to be presented at the 62nd Dornbirn Global Fiber Congress.

13th September 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Wilmington, DE, USA

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

The Lycra Company, a global leader in developing innovative and sustainable fibre and technology solutions for the apparel and personal care industries, announced today that two employees will be presenting at the 62nd Dornbirn Global Fiber Congress (GFC). The annual event occurs from September 13-15 at the Kulturhaus in Dornbirn, Austria.

The presentations cover two key initiatives within the roadmap and vision of The Lycra Company’s Planet Agenda platform and 2030 Sustainability Goals. ‘Industrially Compostable Lycra Fiber’ is being presented in Hall A on September 13 at 2:20 p.m. CEST by Nicholas Kurland, Ph.D., innovation strategy manager at The Lycra Company.

The personal care market has been transformed through the incorporation of stretch fibres into diapers to improve fit and performance; however, to date, there are limited avenues to avoid landfill at end-of-life. This discussion proposes a solution for single-use hygiene garments, focused on upgrading the spandex with an industrially compostable fibre, in order to improve compatibility with sustainable waste streams.

“Our efforts have yielded a new fibre having accelerated degradation characteristics, without sacrificing the performance and quality typically expected from Lycra HyFit fibre,” said Kurland. “This breakthrough in fibre technology provides a necessary step towards the production of compost-ready diapers, enhancing sustainability and addressing a key challenge presented by single-use garments.”

The Lycra Company's Jean Hegedus, director of sustainable business development, will present Recyclability of Garments with Stretch Fibers: Challenges and Solutions at the 62nd Dornbirn Global Fiber Congress (GFC). © The Lycra Company

Jean Hegedus, director of sustainable business development at The Lycra Company, is presenting a lecture on ‘Recyclability of Garments with Stretch Fibers: Challenges and Solutions.’ While garments made with stretch fibers bring a variety of benefits to consumers, such as enhanced comfort, style, and fit, they can also pose unique challenges for brands, retailers and their value chains working to advance a circular business model. This paper examines solutions for garments that contain elastane and/or elastomultiester and proposes an eco-system of solutions that are needed to bring recyclable stretch technologies to commercialisation. It will take place in Hall A on September 13 at 1:30 p.m. CEST.

“We’re excited to share the results of two trials – one on recycling polyester and Lycra fibre and the other on recycling a fabric blend of polyester and LycraT400 fibre,” said Hegedus. “We’re very encouraged by the results and believe this lays the groundwork for developing a more circular system with our stretch offerings.”

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