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How Delta Galil and Lenzing Fibers Give Cotton Scraps New Life

Delta Galil, a global cotton fabric and apparel manufacturer, is collaborating with Lenzing Fibers to advance the circular economy in the textile supply chain.

The companies are collaborating by using Delta’s Galil’s surplus of cotton supply for textile-to-textile recycling to produce Lenzing’s Tencel x Refibra Lyocell.

Lenzing said the success of the two-year-old Refibra technology has been made possible thanks to the partnership with Delta Galil, the Israel-based vertical manufacturer. Lenzing credited Delta Galil’s similar commitment to the circular economy for fueling the research and development, and engineering innovations required to allow the percentage of recycled content of raw material for Refibra technology to reach one third.

“Delta Galil is a pioneer in textile circular economy and truly inspired us to take bold steps with our new Refibra technology,” Andreas Dorner, commercial director for Europe and Americas of the Lenzing Group, said. “Delta partnered with us to transform their cotton scraps that would otherwise be disposed, together with the renewable raw material wood into first-quality, virgin fibers. Everything about our collaboration was unique, from the sharing of data to the forward-thinking teamwork necessary to develop the new process and product.”

Delta Galil develops seamless apparel, including bras, shapewear and socks; innerwear for men and women, as well as activewear, sleepwear and leisurewear. Delta Galil also designs and markets denim and apparel under the brand 7 For All Mankind brands, and women’s apparel under the Splendid and Ella Moss labels.

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Delta Galil reported this week that in the second quarter ended June 30, the company had net income of $5.1 million on sales of $373.9 million.

Tencel-branded Lyocell fibers with Refibra technology are made with raw wood pulp from renewable wood sources that are then combined with up to one third of pulp made from upcycled cotton scraps. The resulting pulp is then manufactured in Lenzing’s closed-loop production facility. Tencel x Refibra is also compostable and biodegradable in soil and water.

Lenzing, based in Austria, noted that as climate change concerns increase, more fashion labels are focusing on environmental protection and sustainability. Delta Galil anticipated this trend and, as a leading supplier of intimates and activewear to the U.S. and global apparel industry, will have a substantial impact on the circular economy of that market.

“We have been innovating in circular economy for many years,” Monder Mwais, senior director of fabric development and innovation at Delta Galil, said. “We take seriously our role in improving textile sustainability and try to lead by example. Pushing the circular economy envelope required us to approach our business differently. That’s where our collaboration with Lenzing was so valuable. With the combined intellectual and technical assets of both companies, we were able to go farther than either of us could ever go alone.”

A special manufacturing system also enables Tencel Lyocell fibers with Refibra technology to be identified in the final products, even after long textile processing and conversion steps through the value chain. This supports transparency and quality assurance in the supply chain.

“We value the relationships we have with our business partners and thrive on discovering new ways of doing things that might be more efficient or sustainable for each of us,” Dorner added. “When we can achieve something as significant as implementing the cotton scraps used in our Refibra technology, we celebrate but realize that there is still much more to be done to attain circular economy in the textile and apparel industry.”