Mötley Crue, Poison alert: INVISTA, BASF, and Genomatica team for sustainable spandex

July 10, 2014 |


We hear from the whispering winds of Wichita that INVISTA, the redoubtable owner of the Lycra and Stainmaster brands, amongst many others, has introduced the only commercial offering of a bio-derived spandex available globally and for use in a wide variety of apparel fabrics and garments.

According to INVISTA: “Approximately 70 percent by weight of the new LYCRA® bio-derived spandex fiber comes from a renewable source made from dextrose derived from corn. The use of a renewable feedstock in the making of this new LYCRA bio-derived fiber results in a lower CO2 emissions footprint than spandex produced using traditional raw materials.”

The secret ingredient? Genomatica BDO. Or, rather, BASF’s BDO, made using the licensed Genomatica process. Kudos to INVISTA for getting it into product and putting their muscle behind this breakthrough material, as a part of their Planet Agenda sustainability program.

INVISTA comments, “With this new LYCRA brand offering, INVISTA is providing retailers and manufacturers of stretch fabrics a spandex fiber option that can impact the overall lifecycle analysis of the fabric and garment. The new fiber is made to INVISTA’s high standards and specifications. Therefore, INVISTA does not anticipate a need to re-engineer fabrics and finishing processes, or garment patterns.”

Arnaud Tandonnet, INVISTA Apparel global sustainability director, added, “We are very aware that sustainability topics are becoming increasingly important in the textile and apparel value chain, with growing awareness and building education on the subject at the consumer, brand/retail and mill level. In our research facilities we have successfully produced the fiber and evaluated it in fabric applications. The production of commercial quantities is planned for the autumn/winter 2015 and spring/summer 2016 collections. We look forward to working with our customers throughout the value chain as we expand this new development.”

No comment was heard from BASF or Genomatica, but we’re sure they appreciated the business — and the opportunity to help make Spandex something a little more special for consumers, in the race for biobased.

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