“Firsts” are often symbolized as a valiant venture, especially in retail – and in the case of Sorona polymer’s collaboration with LIVE!, a Brazilian activewear and fitness brand, it marks the company’s first foray into far-flung territory.
Recently launched, the LIVE!BIO collection takes form in a three-piece sustainable capsule collection made with Sorona fabrics, offering three monochromatic activewear tops available for purchase in the U.S.
Sorona enables a portfolio of sustainable, recyclable fabrics that feature various performance attributes, including long-lasting stretch, breathable insulation, shape recovery, washability, and a soft hand feel. Sorona is a 37 percent plant-based polymer that uses up to 40 percent less energy and emits up to 63 percent less greenhouse gases compared to the production of nylon from non-renewable resources.
South Bound Soirée
So, what’s significant about moving into Brazil? Well, growth is the golden ticket when studying the Brazilian apparel market. As the fifth-largest country in the world with a population of 210 million, Brazil is home to the eighth largest economy on the planet. And, Brazil also has the largest share of e-commerce in South America, with a market worth $19 billion in 2020 – and is expected to swiftly increase to $27 billion by 2024.
But perhaps most notably, online retail sales in Brazil reached almost $17 billion by 2020, all according to research from e-commerce firm ESW.
It’s exciting that a brand launch in a new part of the world is the type of global exposure Sorona is pursuing. Alexa Raab, Sorona Global Brand and Communications Leader, told Fairchild Studio that there is indeed a global need for an increased adoption in sustainable materials. “By moving into new regions such as South America, we are working with customers to drive transformation in the industry.”
“Since Sorona was founded, we’ve driven innovation in the industry with many firsts. It was one of the first USDA certified Bio Preferred products, the first commercially available bio-based faux fur, and we’re excited to be working with LIVE!BIO as one of the first brand’s in South America that is answering the call for more sustainable options in activewear.”
And since Sorona’s launch of the Common Thread Fabric Certification program in 2020, the company said it has seen a “remarkable adoption of Sorona’s certified fabrics globally,” adding that it has certified 350 fabric mills worldwide as part of its Preferred Mill Network and has shipped hangtags for more than 43.7 million garments.
Raab said that the relationship between Sorona and LIVE! was sparked by a shared commitment to making sustainability more accessible to consumers, as LIVE!, too, has embarked on green initiatives in the past, taking part in various renewable energy and reforestation projects.
“This is our first time collaborating with a brand in South America and we are so excited to continue our work with them. In many ways, it demonstrates the continued awareness and global demand for more sustainable fabrics. The bio-based nature and recyclability of Sorona helps brands deliver on this promise for sustainability and performance.”
Raab added that activewear brands looking for sustainable comfort stretch fabrics select Sorona because of how it feels and performs – and for this collection, wearers can expect to see
a softer hand feel, and better stretch and recovery.
“These fabrics feel amazing because they’re buttery soft and moisture wicking. The collection also has the long-lasting benefits of Sorona, which is proven to maintain shape wear after wear and be more resistant to fading and staining so they look new for longer. Combined with the timeless designs and monochromatic colors, we can see this collection transitioning well between seasons.”
And LIVE!, which has made a name for itself in Brazil and is an up-and-comer in the U.S., is on board with the mission to accelerate green fashion. The brand told Fairchild Studio, “As a brand, we are always on the hunt to connect with like-minded partners who, like us, are on a quest toward a greener future. It felt natural to be the first brand in Brazil to utilize the exciting technology the Sorona fiber has to offer as a part of our designs.”
The brand emphasized that its efforts were aligned in seeking a product that carried qualities such as softness, technology and fit that they value at LIVE! – and a new approach that leveraged sustainably sourced fibers was the right match.
“Sorona was the first to support making this a reality: a technology that offers strong functional attributes and also actively minimizes environmental impact,” they added.
As a pioneering brand in Brazil, LIVE! said that they are the first brand to use Sorona nationally, and that it is a “key activity in generating continued awareness around the environment and doing our part to create a brighter tomorrow.”
“Our hope is that this capsule will inspire other leaders to follow suit. The pieces developed maintain greater breathability, as well as reduced pilling and sagging, without sacrificing design – the versatile aesthetic is still connected to our brand and product DNA.”
LIVE! explained that internally they conducted a multitude of product tests and studies, and found they were able to maintain the stability and sew-ability with Sorona as they have with other fabrics they’ve selected in the past –
but their approach to sustainability remains unchanged.
“We strive to maintain our purpose in everything we do and there was no difference in launching this collection. The idea to bring technology that is tied to sustainability and well-being is increasingly aligned with LIVE!’s strategy as a brand, and we will continue to push for similar innovations in the global fashion industry,” LIVE! told Fairchild Studio.
Raab said that the hope is to continue to drive collaborations into new markets and regions, like its collection with LIVE!, as well as work with other innovative branded fibers to develop collaborations “that showcase the best of what we all have to offer.”
“Collaboration is the future of sustainability and design for performance. We’ve successfully created collaborations with environmentally conscious fiber companies like Tencel, Eastman, and Ecopel. There’s so much more on the horizon as we continue to push forward – and work together to advance sustainable fashion.”