The company’s Naia™ Renew ES—its latest fiber offering made with a higher percentage of recycled content—has already been picked up by outdoor apparel brand Patagonia for a limited run of T-shirts for its Workwear line.
The ES stands for “enhanced sustainability,” and Naia™ Renew ES is made with 60 percent recycled content. This option also requires fewer virgin materials to make an environmentally friendly product than other cellulose-based yarns and fibers.
Diving deeper into its construction, Naia™ Renew ES is made from a combination of 40 percent molecularly recycled waste material, 40 percent renewable wood pulp, and 20 percent recycled cellulose, the latter derived from textile and non-forest-derived cellulose waste.
The Naia™ team partnered with sustainable pulp supplier GP Cellulose to integrate renewable forest fibers and non-forest fiber solutions into its feedstock.
“With Naia™, we take a holistic approach to sustainability,” said Ruth Farrell, Eastman textiles general manager. “So, it is not only about circularity but also about the sustainable sourcing of our wood pulp, the safe and sound use of chemicals, and the recycling of waste materials to lessen the environmental impact.”
That 40 percent recycled content comes from Eastman’s cutting-edge molecular recycling technology that breaks down hard-to-recycle waste materials like plastic and old carpet into fundamental building blocks to produce the acetic acid used to make cellulose acetate yarn and fiber. This process not only produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions but also diverts waste materials from landfills, incinerators and other undesirable end-of-life destinations, finding new value for pre- and postconsumer waste that is not suitable for recycling by traditional means.
“Naia™ Renew ES is our answer to the overconsumption of raw materials, a growing plastic waste problem, and rising greenhouse gases,” said Farrell. “It’s a future-focused fiber made with the next generations in mind—one that doesn’t compromise on the quality of the garment or the health of our planet.”
A fiber needs a garment to truly bring it to life, and Eastman is thrilled to partner with a company like Patagonia, which shares its values toward people and planet.
“Patagonia has always been a company that chooses its fibers carefully and responsibly,” said Farrell. “The collaboration we’ve enjoyed with Patagonia has been instrumental in developing materials that appeal to its customers—environmentally conscientious people who work and play hard. Patagonia customers want garments that reflect who they are and what they care about without compromise on comfort and quality.”
Patagonia’s Workwear line is a Fair-Trade line of apparel made for people who “work hard daily to make the planet a better place to live, perform and produce.” The Workwear line features durable, low-impact fibers with a lower carbon footprint. Learn more at www.patagonia.com/workwear.
“Naia™ is committed to empower and collaborate with our partners to collectively build a more sustainable textiles industry,” she said.
The recession might have some consumers pumping the brakes on discretionary spending, but Eastman strongly believes that conscious fashion will remain top of mind. As consumer mindset shifts toward more responsible consumption, people think more carefully about how they spend their money, and that will be even more true in a recessionary environment.
“We will always consume, but in the future, we will consume differently,” said Claudia de Witte, sustainability leader, textiles at Eastman. “We have seen that the current level of consumption, where garments are bought and only worn a couple of times before being discarded, is not sustainable.”
Not only is awareness for sustainability and circularity rising, but brands are being challenged by supply chain disruption, shortages and increasing costs of raw materials, she added. “In some regions, separate collections of textiles are put in place, and extended producer responsibility could be around the corner. That will make brands responsible for the end of life of their products. Circularity becomes part of the solution.”
For more information on Naia™ Renew staple fiber, click here.