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This Italian Innovator is Packing Plants into Performance Apparel and Recycling Socks into Shoes

Italian footwear and apparel maker Treré Innovation on Wednesday announced a slew of new innovations, including its first line of 100 percent bio-based base layers set to launch this fall.

“There’s a lot of data today about sustainable, recyclable, etc., but we don’t believe that using recycled materials prevents the population of plastic,” Marco Redini, Trerè Innovation CEO, whose company has partnered in the past with Christian Dior, Harley-Davidson and Puma, told Sourcing Journal. “Our biggest problem is microplastics in the water and we need to cut the amount of fossil material…. Real sustainability is not only to say we recycle it if we still produce microplastic. That is not sustainable.”

Called UYN, which stands for Unleash Your Nature, and pronounced “win,” this line, which will open its first U.S. store in Boston this fall, boasts 100 percent plant-based base layers, footwear made from socks, and accessories, developed at Treré’s Academy for Research and Engineering in Apparel and Sports (AREAS).

“UYN is delivering the next generation of planet-friendly fabrics from responsibly harvested beech plants, castor oil seeds, kapok trees, eucalyptus trees and corn, among others using proprietary manufacturing processes at our in-house facilities; this is our clear point of difference,” Redini said in a statement.

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The company said the national ski teams of Austria, China, Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain already use the brand’s base layers.

“Our base layers are trusted by nine respected ski teams around the globe. With these assets and our proven skilled expertise, we intend to replicate our global success in the U.S. because the timing is right,” Redini said.

UYN Courtesy of UYN/Trere Innovation

The UYN line’s footwear is made from recycled socks added to materials such as paper cotton, merino and yak wool, and bio-based materials Natex, made from castor seed oil, and and Ecolypt, a fiber made from eucalyptus trees, according to the company.

Other materials in the apparel include Biolight, a fiber extracted from beech trees, Flexicorn, a bio-polyester yarn derived from corn and kapok, a cotton substitute five times lighter than its boll-born brethren, which grows in certain equatorial regions.

The company said it sources its kapok fruit from a supplier in South America and spins the kapok to create a textile in combination with Biolight, a technology it has developed from beechwood. 

The UYN base layers are manufactured in Pennsylvania and will arrive at select retailers and online in the fall, according to the company.