Man-made textiles specialist Fulgar is marketing its most experimental innovation yet, aimed at establishing a cross-industry recycling standard.
Called O-Cycle, Fulgar’s new nylon 6.6 yarn is crafted from tire cord waste. It’s the result of a partnership with Germany-based public company Basf, which provided the technology to turn tires destined for landfill into brand new materials to be channeled into the apparel industry.
The repurposed nylon preserves the same features — such as resilience and elasticity, non-allergenic properties and resistance to mold, bacteria and insects — as virgin nylon. This is achieved thanks to the high-tech ChemCycling process, as part of which tires are broken down into their original components, such as coke, gas and pyrolysis oil, via a thermochemical procedure.
Each byproduct is recycled: as coke is returned to tire manufacturers, gas is employed into the thermolysis process itself and the oil is channeled into new apparel.
“There are many recycled nylons 6 on the market, but this innovation represents the first of its kind when it comes to nylon 6.6,” said Fulgar head of marketing Alan Garosi.
The process presents quite a few challenges, including the collection of wasted tires, but it is opening up a new standard for potential cross-industry recycling methods.
“Together with Fulgar we’re entering the textile sector and it’s a milestone,” said Marina Favretto, key account manager at Basf. “Nylon 6.6 is already widespread in other industries, including engineering plastics, industrial productions, such as airbag manufacturing.”
She noted that carbon dioxide emissions also benefit from the recycling process, as the new technology saves end-of-life tires from incineration and reuses the gas released as part of the process, thus containing the CO2 balance.
“We’re already spinning this new nylon because we’re confident enough about its quality and we’re already taking it to an industrial level,” Garosi said. The O-Cycle yarn is expected to sell at around 50 percent more than non-sustainable nylons but still within a price range that is attractive for mass market players.
Taylor Stitch, Ron Finley to Collaborate
Ron Finley — a designer best known for his green thumb and community-building in Los Angeles — will partner with classic men’s tailoring brand Taylor Stitch.
The collaboration aptly dubbed, “The Digging In Capsule,” will be available on Taylor Stitch’s website on Feb. 17 and includes a run of responsible, work-ready pieces (including two T-shirts, a hoodie, trousers and two jackets) “engineered for those prepared to get their hands dirty in the name of change” per the press statement.
Prices range from $44 for a T-shirt to $278 for a jacket.
Each piece is created with materials that are either upcycled, recycled, organic, or “responsibly sourced” (including recycled polyester or cotton) and has 10 percent of every purchase supporting Finley’s organization, The Ron Finley Project, which supports healthy food sovereignty and access.
No stranger to collaboration, in October, Finley unveiled his first fragrance, “A Flower for You,” made in collaboration with Los Angeles-based Fiele Fragrances. The subject of a 2015 documentary executive produced by John Legend, “Can You Dig This,” Finley has a TED talk that’s been viewed more than 3 million times, and one of the most popular MasterClasses, “Ron Finley Teaches Gardening.”
ESG Comparison Kick: Technology company Higg, a spin-off of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, unveiled new social and labor performance benchmarks for consumer goods manufacturing on Wednesday.
In the past, social factors were a pending promise under its suite of tools, but Higg maintains its latest advancement will unlock benchmarking for the industry.
“We’re innovating for a world where everything is made with the lowest environmental impact and greatest social benefit possible,” said Higg chief executive officer Jason Kibbey. “To do this, businesses must understand the impacts across their value chain. Choosing only one or two areas to invest in won’t move us to where we need to be. Benchmarking is an important part of solving this problem. Comparing against industry peers and identifying specific areas that need action gives businesses the information they need to speed up their progress.”