Invista’s bio-derived Lycra.

Good news for swimwear manufacturers and brands that create anything with LYCRA as owner INVISTA announced last week the launch of a bio-derived spandex. The spandex fiber will come from a renewable source, dextrose, which comes from corn.

According to Sustainable Brands, INVISTA, which also produces the COOLMAX®, CORDURA®, STAINMASTER®, ANTRON®, THERMOCOOL® and THERMOLITE® brands, says the new fiber will provide retailers and manufacturers of stretch fabrics a spandex fiber option that can impact the overall lifecycle analysis of the fabric and garment, and should not require re-engineering of fabrics, finishing processes or garment patterns.

According to Arnaud Tandonnet, INVISTA Apparel’s global sustainability director, “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.”

INVISTA said that creating their bio-based LYCRA helps them move towards their sustainability goals in their program called Planet Agenda. The goals include 3 main themes:

1.    Minimizing its environmental footprint by conserving resources, reducing emissions and eliminating waste at its manufacturing plants.
2.    Offering competitive products that meet the needs of the apparel markets using fewer resources and to enhance the environmental performance of all fabrics.
3.    Protecting the health and safety of our workers and communities and participating in local stewardship initiatives.

For sportswear brands, including swimwear, yoga, and 1st layer companies, these latest improvements in textiles are not only positive moves in the right direction, but answering greater consumer demand for sustainable solutions.