Friday, June 14, 2024

Lululemon Cracks the Code on Nylon Recycling As Renewcell’s Circulose Supplier Network Expands to More Than 150

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Material innovations from Lululemon and Samsara Eco, along with Renewcell’s expanding Circulose Supplier Network offer a glimpse into a future where fashion and environmental stewardship go hand in hand.

Lululemon, in collaboration with Australian startup Samsara Eco, says it has achieved a breakthrough in recycling technology, creating the world’s first enzymatically recycled nylon 6.6 product. This development is paralleled by Renewcell’s expansion of the Circulose Supplier Network (CSN), which now includes 151 members, marking a substantial stride in textile-to-textile recycling.

Lululemon’s venture with Samsara Eco introduces a revolutionary approach to recycling nylon 6.6, a material previously considered unrecyclable in a textile-to-textile context. “Until now, textile-to-textile nylon 6.6 has been unrecyclable; the samples we have created with Lululemon represent a world-first breakthrough for the future of textile waste,” Paul Riley, CEO of Samsara Eco, said in a statement. “Our work with Lululemon shows the potential to give clothes an infinite life.” Riley noted the innovation not only signifies a monumental achievement in sustainable fashion but also demonstrates the feasibility of giving textiles an “infinite life,” thereby drastically reducing waste.

Woman in lululemon.
Courtesy Lululemon

Simultaneously, Renewcell’s Circulose Supplier Network is rapidly expanding, with 35 new members joining, bringing the total to 151. This network, consisting of suppliers from various segments of the textile industry, underscores a collective ambition to close the loop on clothing production. Renewcell’s strategic partnerships across key geographical regions, including South Asia, Southeast Asia, and notably Turkey, aim to establish Circulose manufacturing hubs, facilitating a localized supply chain for this innovative material.

Srimal Wickremasinghe of Brushes & Needles and Salil Dhillon of TexComs Worldwide shared insights into the development of sustainable textile solutions using Circulose technology. Wickremasinghe remarked on the growing demand for eco-friendly products, while Dhillon highlighted the shift in consumer behavior toward sustainability.

circular-economy
Image courtesy Priscilla du Preez

“Consumers are increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of their purchases and are seeking out products that align with their values. Recognizing this shift in consumer behavior, we have invested significant time and resources into creating textile products with Circulose that not only meet the highest standards of quality and performance but also prioritize sustainability throughout their entire lifecycle,” Dhillon said.

Tricia Carey, Chief Commercial Officer at Renewcell, elaborated on the importance of building up key geographical regions to meet the diverse needs of their brand partners. This strategy aims not only to replace virgin manmade cellulosic fibers and cotton with Circulose fibers but also to enhance the properties of mechanically recycled cotton, particularly in Turkey’s significant cotton textile market, Carey said. Karla Magruder, Founder and President of Accelerating Circularity, says Renewcell’s Circulose Supplier Network is the first example of putting together “all the pieces” through commercial entities.

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