In our second apparel story of the month, two key industry players, DowDuPont Specialty Products and global textile solutions provider Unifi, Inc. are collaborating to create high-performance, renewably sourced garment insulation, offering leading apparel brands a new sustainable choice for cold-weather products. This partnership combines DuPont’s Sorona polymer and Unifi REPREVE to produce cold-weather apparel insulation that is soft, durable and with excellent shape retention. D DuPont’s Sorona is made from 37 percent renewable plant-based ingredients, using 30 percent less energy with 63 percent fewer greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as compared to Nylon 6. The qualities it boasts include exceptional softness, inherent stain resistance and durability and offers customers in a wide range of industries a more sustainable, high-performance materials option. The polymer has been used in everything from carpeting to Indian sarees.
REPREVE is a high-quality fiber containing recycled materials, including plastic water bottles. Unifi’s proprietary process turns plastic bottles into certified fiber, which is then used in thousands of different fabrics and products available globally.
“The combination of Sorona and REPREVE provides brands the opportunity to use a high-performance, durable insulation that dries quickly and keeps its shape even after washing,” said Michael Saltzberg, global business director for Biomaterials at DuPont. “The new insulation’s unique warmth and durability will bring customers streamlined outerwear, made from eco-friendly materials, while maintaining maximum warmth and breathability."
Unifi has a 45-year heritage as a textile solution provider driven by manufacturing innovation and creating differentiation for its customers. The company continues to build on its success by expanding its offering of branded recycled performance fibers that provide functional benefits, added comfort and aesthetic advantages. Unifi spent more than three years developing REPREVE with quality and performance as the primary goal – and recycled as the added benefit.
DuPont has a rich and deep history in the textile market, with inventions that include fibers such as nylon, Lycra, Kevlar and rayon – the world's first man-made fiber. More recently, in addition to Sorona, DuPont’s biomaterials group has focused its innovations on creating other high-performing, sustainably sourced materials – the building blocks of products that consumers use every day.
“This collaboration will give customers the freedom to choose a new type of garment insulation – one that is better for the environment without compromising performance,” said Ning Hongjun, president Unifi Asia Pacific. “With our expertise in recycled polyester staple fiber and DuPont Industrial Biosciences’ industry-leading Sorona, we look forward to seeing this breakthrough technology be widely adopted by leading brands.”