Athletic apparel company lululemon and biotechnology company LanzaTech have teamed up to create what could be the world’s first yarn and fabric using recycled carbon emissions.
LanzaTech uses nature-based solutions to produce ethanol from waste carbon sources and is working with India Glycols Limited (IGL) and Far Eastern New Century to convert ethanol into polyester.
The process of capturing and recycling carbon before it is released to the atmosphere is an innovation that LanzaTech has brought to airlines, home care companies and now textile production.
By capturing industrial emissions and reusing the carbon to make yarn, the finished garments not only have a lower carbon footprint but ensure community pollution levels are reduced.
If these chemicals are made into new products such as textiles, once they reach the end of their life and become waste, they can be gasified and fermented by LanzaTech’s process.
The company believes recycling carbon is a fundamental element of the circular economy and with a lower carbon footprint, this innovation could transport lululemon’s products and the apparel industry.
Jennifer Holmgren, CEO, LanzaTech said: “We must radically change how we source, utilise and dispose of carbon. Carbon recycling enables companies like lululemon to continue to move away from virgin fossil resources, bring circularity to their products and achieve their climate change goals around carbon reduction. We call this being ‘CarbonSmart’.”
In October, lululemon released its first Impact Agenda, outlining its strategies to address critical social and environmental issues with 12 goals to drive progress and its partnership with LanzaTech is one of the many ways it is focused on bringing new technologies to the business.
Ted Dagnese, Chief Supply Chain Officer, lululemon added: “lululemon is committed to making products that are better in every way – building a healthier future for ourselves, for our communities and for our planet. We know sustainable innovation will play a key role in the future of retail and apparel and we are excited to be at the forefront of an innovative technology.
“Our partnership with LanzaTech will help lululemon deliver on our Impact Agenda goals to make 100% of our products with sustainable materials and end-of- use solutions, moving us toward a circular ecosystem by 2030.”