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Fiber Firms Showcase Sustainable Performance Innovations at Outdoor Retailer

Fiber and fabric companies are using next week’s Outdoor Retailer Snow Show in Denver to launch or expand on materials that make apparel perform better in extreme conditions.

The DuPont Sorona brand team is challenging designers to think about the full lifecycle of a garment by showcasing a ski jacket where every layer is a spandex-free stretch solution that can be recycled. The ski jacket uses partially bio-based Sorona fabrics for the inner and outer layers, the insulation and the faux fur trim.

Combining the durable performance of Sorona fabrics with the concept of the circular economy, the jacket is compatible with single-stream polyester recycling, meaning the fabrics can have a second life when it’s time to retire the garment.

Designed by Youngone, the jacket incorporates the recently launched EcoLoft Flex SR insulation based on Unifi Repreve fibers and bio-based Sorona polymer fibers, offering warmth and long-lasting stretch.

“Stretch fabrics with even 1 percent spandex or elastane, if not reused, tend to head for the landfill,” Laurie Kronenberg, global DuPont Sorona brand manager, said. “That is why it is so important to understand that if a polyester stretch garment has elasterell-p or elastomultiester to enhance the garment’s stretch performance, it can be mechanically recycled.

“Educating everyone from designers to the material handlers in the recycling facilities that there is a stretch fiber option that can be mechanically recycled in a 100 percent polyester construction will have a positive impact on the environment,” Kronenberg added.

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Swiss fiber solutions company HeiQ has updated multiple technical aspects for HeiQ Fresh and more product options with HeiQ XReflex.

HeiQ Fresh is an odor control range with three sustainable products–HeiQ Pure TAG, HeiQ Pure SPQR and HeiQ Fresh FFL. HeiQ Pure TAG has been upgraded by using a recycled silver-based odor control with a nonionic reformulation, making it compatible with most textile finishing.

HeiQ is also launching additional fabrics and insulation packages for HeiQ XReflex, a solution that offers the same level of warmth with up to half the reduction of insulation, reducing bulk and saving materials for apparel, sleeping bags, gloves and blankets. The patented radiant barrier technology is now offered with one or two layers of heat reflective surface, offering up to 50 percent less bulk at the same warmth, without effecting fabric breathability. HeiQ XReflex is also available as a scrim layer, providing an ultra-thin radiant barrier for design flexibility and cost optimization.

Indorama Ventures will introduce the latest addition to its sustainable portfolio called CoolVisions + Cotton denim. The addition of CoolVisions polypropylene to traditional cotton denim delivers significant benefits to the environment, reducing water consumption, indigo dye and chemicals by 45 percent. In addition, these innovative denim fabrics are softer, dry faster, and are lighter weight than traditional denim.

“We developed this new sustainable denim to meet performance needs in outdoor lifestyle and workwear applications,” Susan Lynn, global sales and marketing manager, said. “CoolVisions polypropylene remains a favorite performance fiber, featuring low moisture regain, improved bulk and coverage with less weight, and ease of care.

“Polypropylene has one of the lowest cradle-to-factory gate carbon footprints among synthetic fibers and ranks high on the Higg Index,” she added, “and CoolVisions polypropylene fiber is Oeko-Tex certified.”