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The Lycra Company now manufactures a fibre made from industrial maize

By Florence Julienne


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The Lycra Company now manufactures a fibre made from industrial maize. Credits: The Lycra Company

For The Lycra Company, moving away from petroleum-derived elastane to a bio fibre derived from industrial corn is a complete paradigm shift. For the fashion industry, it's a ray of hope. Particularly from an eco-responsibility point of view, as lycra is present in most contemporary garments.

Lycra, a biosourced, patented and renewable fibre, will be available on a large scale in early 2025. The bio-derived BDO was developed by Qore(r) –a joint venture between Cargill, an expert in fermentation and Helm, a German company. Dairen will then convert the BDO to bio PTMEG, a key ingredient in renewable LYCRA(r) fiber. By converting Qira into bio-PTMEG (70 percent of the Lycra fibre content), CO2 emissions are reduced.

Through the use of annually renewable industrial maize, an initial calculation indicates that the carbon footprint could potentially be reduced by up to 44 percent compared with the old method, while offering equivalent performance.

"Given the combination of using biobased inputs from corn, converting the Qira BDO to a state-of-the-art wind-powered facility and converting the BDO to low-impact PTMEG, we anticipate further potential reductions," said Steve Stewart, innovation director at The Lycra Company.

The Lycra Company aims to facilitate the green transition for spinners, fabric manufacturers, brands and retailers

"We are thrilled to put the spotlight on the family farmers who grow the industrial corn used to produce Qira to help make fashion more responsible," said Jon Veldhouse, CEO of Qore LLC, producer of Qira, in a release. "This campaign highlights their role as stewards of the earth and shows their pride in contributing to a greener industry."

Simon Chuang, VP of global sourcing and procurement, added: "Sustainability has moved from being a compliance issue to a competitive advantage. We are committed to selecting, promoting and developing our business with partners like DCC, who are adopting and leading significant sustainability efforts."

This article originally appeared on FashionUnited.FR. Translation and edit by: Rachel Douglass.

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The Lycra Company