The Lycra Company Announces Collaboration with QORE® to Adopt Bio-based BDO for Mass Production of Bio-based Spandex

Latest: The Lycra Company, a global leader in developing innovative fibers and technology solutions for the textile and apparel industries, has entered into an agreement with Qore® to become the world’s first mass-market new generation of 1,4-Butanediol (BDO) QIRA® as the main raw material for the commercial production of bio-based spandex. Through this collaboration, 70% of LYCRA® (Lycra®) fibers will be sourced from annually renewable raw materials. This change is expected to reduce the carbon footprint of LYCRA® (Lycra®) fiber by 44% compared to an equivalent product made from fossil resources, while maintaining the same high-quality performance parameters as conventional LYCRA® (Lycra®) fiber.

QIRA® will be produced at Cargill’s Eddyville, Iowa biotechnology campus and corn refinery. The plant is currently under construction and will start operations in 2024. Lycra’s Tuas Singapore production site to use QIRA® to make first batch of renewables in 2024
LYCRA® (Lycra®) fiber. The Lycra Company is currently engaging with brands and retail customers looking to use bio-based apparel solutions.

Julien, CEO of Lycra
Born said: “As part of our sustainability goals, we are committed to providing products that support the circular economy while helping our apparel customers and personal care customers reduce their carbon footprint. We are especially pleased to partner with Qore®, a company that Share the same vision for innovative, sustainable solutions as we do. Their expertise in operating fermentation processes and understanding of the chemical value chain make them an ideal partner to help us develop commercial-scale bio-based LYCRA® (Lycra®) fiber.”

Jon Veldhouse, CEO of Qore®, said: “We are proud to partner with Lycra to bring this sustainable material solution to market.
This collaboration demonstrates that QIRA® directly replaces conventional BDO, thereby significantly improving fiber sustainability. QIRA® is an innovative platform chemistry for a variety of applications across industries. ”

The first generation of renewable LYCRA® (Lycra®) fiber made from QIRA® will use corn grown by Iowa farmers as feedstock, which will significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions. In addition to replacing limited resources with resources that are renewable each year, another advantage for factories, brands and retailers is that there is no change in fiber properties without any redesign of fabrics, garment shapes or processes. In 2014, the LYCRA® (Lycra®) brand launched the world’s first bio-based spandex, demonstrating equivalent performance. Lycra from Bio-based
BDO’s technology for making renewable elastic fibers is patented.