A year after the debut of its Common Thread Fabric Certification Program, Sorona is rolling out the Preferred Mill Network, a global catalog of mills offering the full collection of sustainable Sorona sub-branded fabrics Agile, Aura, Luxe, Profile and Revive.
The network of certified mills is available to any apparel brand in need of samples and sourcing of fabrics scientifically tested to meet the performance and sustainability standards set by the Sorona team. Brands can sign up for access to the portal by visiting Sorona.com/customer-portal.
“The impacts of sustainability efforts are best at scale,” DuPont global brand and communications leader Alexa Raab said. “Through the recent COP26 Climate Change Summit, we’ve seen how much work there is to do in all corners of industry. We’re taking this step with the Preferred Mill Network and Common Thread Fabric Certification Program to further our commitment to transparency and ease of access to sustainable fabrics throughout the value chain.”
Since the debut of the Common Thread Fabric Certification Program, Sorona has certified 350 fabric mills worldwide and shipped hangtags for more than 43.7 million garments. Among the certified fabrics, the most certified option is Sorona Agile, the comfort stretch fabric used to replace spandex in activewear and athleisure garments.
To qualify for certification, fabric mills must submit fabric swatches to the DuPont or DuPont-approved lab for testing. Each sample is rigorously analyzed for a minimum content level of Sorona, as well as for quality and performance characteristics.
Certified fabric types include Sorona Agile; Sorona Aura lightweight, soft insulation fill; Sorona Luxe natural fiber blends enhanced with softness, dimensional stability and reduced pilling; Sorona Profile, a replacement for 100 percent nylon or PET fabrics that offers improved crease recovery and a soft hand; and Sorona Revive with shape retention and dimensional stability without sagging and bagging.
Made from 37 percent plant-based materials, Sorona is a high-performance fiber that offers softness, stretch recovery, crease recovery and resistance to UV and chlorine damage. From harvesting to production, the process for making Sorona claims to use 30 percent to 40 percent less energy and release 56 percent to 63 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than the production of nylon. Fabrics made from Sorona polymer can also be dyed and heat-set at much lower temperatures compared to polyester furthering the energy efficiency down the value chain, the company said.
“Fundamentally, making Bio-PDO is the same as the fermentation process for making beer,” DuPont Biomaterials product and global application development principle investigator Samit Chevli said. “The use of Bio-PDO to make Sorona PTT polymer gives the polymer some unique properties. At a molecular level, the polymer has a zig-zag orientation which gives fibers produced from Sorona polymer a spring-like property. This provides much better resiliency and stretch than other types of polyesters.”
Sorona is used in various apparel applications, including athleisure and athletic wear, insulation, swimwear, outerwear, suiting, faux fur and home goods like carpet. DuPont developed Sorona in the late 1990s by leveraging the innovative bio-based monomer Bio-PDO as the basis for the polymer. Sorona is a USDA Certified Biobased Product and carries the Oeko-Tex Standard 100, Class 1 certification.