Loungewear continues to dominate at home, and while a certain percentage of people have already returned to their offices, it’s a safe bet that 100 percent of them are no longer wearing the stiff workwear of yore. Comfortable clothing now needs to go from couch to conference room, without compromising comfort, quality, style or performance. The pandemic has also urged more consumers to demand sustainability in their garments, and Eastman is meeting this call by upping offerings of its Naia™ Renew cellulosic staple fiber for expanded fashion usage.
“Naia™ Renew staple fiber is exceptionally versatile,” noted Ruth Farrell, global marketing director, textiles, Eastman. “It blends fabulously with other eco-friendly materials such as lyocell, modal, and recycled polyester. In combination with other yarns, Naia™ Renew affords almost unlimited possibilities for textural variety.”
In womenswear in particular, Eastman has witnessed a growing demand for Naia™ sustainable solutions for loungewear and comfortable everyday wear, as well as an increased demand in home textiles as well. “More and more brands are looking for sustainable solutions and have launched womenswear collections with garments made with Naia™, including such brands as H&M, NAKD, Numi and others,” Farrell said.
The highly versatile Naia™ Renew staple fiber blends well for T-shirts, comfy pants, jumpsuits, sweaters and dresses, with the following main advantages: inherent and irresistible softness; quick-drying properties; reduced pilling; and low environmental impact.
For year-round sweater weather, Eastman offers two types of Naia™ Renew staple fibers. One is more suitable for summer and mid-seasonal lightweight sweaters, where the most common blends are with viscose, silk and cotton. The other one is for winter blends, thicker constructions and loft blended perfectly with wool, cashmere and heavier cotton yarns.
Sustainable to the very end
It’s no longer enough to produce a garment sustainably, but it must be easy on the earth at its end of life as well. “Sustainability minded brands and consumers are interested in the sustainability aspect of the garments, but more than anything, they are very motivated to buy based on performance and quality,” said Farrell.
In fact, based on Eastman’s U.S. Sustainable Leader Consumer Community research, seven out of 10 eco-minded Americans say materials define the sustainability of an item, making fiber selection core to a brand’s evolution to become a leader in this realm. Nearly three in four sustainably minded Americans say that they want apparel brands to provide relevant information on hangtags, followed by certifications, websites and store signage. Also, consumers rely on brands to provide product impact information across their shopping journey, so no matter where they start, they get the necessary information to feel confident in their purchase.
While there is a lot of focus in the fashion industry on recycleability, end-of-life biodegradability is an increasingly important part of the conversation.
“At Eastman, we take a holistic approach on sustainability, meaning robust policies on sustainable sourcing, increased use of recycled materials (creating value from waste), safe and environmentally sound use of chemicals, low impact manufacturing process, biodegradability and compostability,” said Farrell. “Circularity in the textiles industry is more than only using recycled materials, it is about what we produce, how we produce it, extending the life through better quality products, and what happens at the end of life.”
Textiles made with Naia™ Renew offer technical benefits for enhanced longevity. Garments made with Naia™ Renew can be easily laundered at home, maintaining their dimensional stability and shape for a lasting fit, with reduced pilling, all meaning consumers have clothes made to last.
Brands and retailers looking to replace traditional fiber with more responsible ones might find they can be difficult to source in bulk, and Eastman is scaling the production of sustainable fibers
“Our goal is to make sustainable fashion accessible to all,” Farrell said. “Eastman is one of the few players in the fashion industry that can produce sustainable fibers at scale. We can deliver to major brands and core collections all over the world. Our products are manufactured in USA and Europe, allowing us to meet our clients’ logistical needs. We collaborate across the value chain to make sustainable solutions at scale. Indeed, only such commercial scale solutions will accelerate the change in the textile industry.”
Eastman’s strategy is to build a Naia™ portfolio based on a dual platform of innovation and sustainability, and is working with industry partners like Quantis and nonprofits like Canopy and Textile Exchange to share information and collaborate, catalyzing systemic change in the awareness and use of sustainable fibers.
“We believe that industry collaboration is key to achieving this, and Naia™ is committed to working with like-minded brands like H&M and Reserved to deliver solutions that can truly make a difference,” Farrell said, adding they want to establish at least three agreements with customers to make measurable environmental impacts by 2025.
For more information on Naia™ Renew staple fiber, click here.