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Sorona introduces Preferred Mill Network

350 fabric mills certified worldwide and hangtags shipped for more than 43.7 million garments in 2021.

6th January 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Wilmington, DE, USA

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

A year after the debut of its Common Thread fabric certification programme, Sorona is introducing the Preferred Mill Network, a global catalogue of mills offering the full collection of sustainable Sorona sub-branded fabrics – Agile, Aura, Luxe, Profile and Revive.

The network of certified mills is available to any apparel brand in need of samples and the sourcing of fabrics scientifically tested to meet the performance and sustainability standards set by the Sorona team.

“The impacts of sustainability efforts are best at scale,” says DuPont global brand and communications leader Alexa Raab. “Through the recent COP26 Climate Change Summit, we’ve seen how much work there is to do in all corners of industry. We’re taking this step with the Preferred Mill Network and Common Thread programme to further our commitment to transparency and ease of access to sustainable fabrics throughout the value chain.”

Since the debut of the Common Thread programme, Sorona has certified 350 fabric mills worldwide and shipped hangtags for more than 43.7 million garments. The most certified option is Sorona Agile, the comfort stretch fabric used for spandex replacement in activewear and athleisure garments.

Sorona Revive is engineered for shape retention and dimensional stability. © DuPont

To qualify for certification, fabric mills must submit fabric swatches to the DuPont (or DuPont approved) lab for testing. Each sample is rigorously analyzed for a minimum content level of Sorona, as well as for quality and performance characteristics.

In addition to Sorona Agile, certified fabric types include:

-Sorona Aura – a lightweight insulation fill with high softness, fill power and thermal insulation

-Sorona Luxe – a natural fibre blend characterised by softness, dimensional stability and reduced pilling.

-Sorona Profile – a replacement for 100% nylon or PET fabrics that offers improved crease recovery and a rich, soft handfeel.

-Sorona Revive – for shape retention and dimensional stability.

Made from 37% plant-based materials, Sorona is a high-performance fibre that offers softness, stretch recovery, crease recovery and resistance to UV and chlorine damage. From harvesting to production, the process for making Sorona uses 30-40% less energy and releases 56-63% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than the production of nylon. Fabrics made from Sorona polymer can also be dyed and heat-set at much lower temperatures compared to polyester, furthering the energy efficiency down the value chain.

“Fundamentally, making Bio-PDO is the same as the fermentation process for making beer,” says DuPont Biomaterials product and global application development principle investigator Samit Chevli. “The use of Bio-PDO to make Sorona PTT polymer gives the polymer some unique properties. At a molecular level the polymer has a zig zag orientation which gives fibres produced it a spring-like property. This provides much better resiliency and stretch than other types of polyesters.”

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