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Renee Henze
Renee Henze
Global Marketing Head
DuPont Biomaterials and Sorona
DuPont Biomaterials and Sorona

We have a growing presence in the US, Europe & Asia

DuPont Sorona is an innovative carpet, apparel and automotive interior eco-fibre offering reduced environmental footprint. Renee Henze, Global Marketing Head, DuPont Biomaterials and Sorona shares insights on the potential of performance fibres and its applications within the apparel industry.

Who are your major clients in the performance fibre industry?

Over the past few years, we have partnered with major apparel global brands to include Sorona in their product lines. These customers include well-known global brands in the outdoor apparel, ready-to- wear, fashion, denim, yoga, intimate apparel and sports apparel segments. We also work directly with yarn spinners and fabric mills to integrate the biopolymer into fabrics downstream.

Could you describe the geographical regions where your company is growing and also expecting potential growth in the near future?

We have a growing presence in the United States of America, Europe and Asia, particularly China, but there are significant opportunities for growth and expansion both within those markets and beyond. There is so much potential in the marketplace for a sustainable, high performance fibre like Sorona, and we are well-positioned to expand to those geographic regions and partner with companies along the entire supply chain.

What business opportunities do you see for performance fibres in geographies like China, India, Vietnam and Bangladesh?

Asia - and specifically China - is one of our biggest markets, and there is tremendous opportunity for growth with spinners and mills, as well as with retailers. Sorona has applications across the apparel space, from its stretch recovery and softness attributes, to its durability and comfort. For example, we have partnered with companies in the Indian textile market to incorporate Sorona into materials used for saris.

Which new areas of application are DuPont performance fibres exploring?

Sorona’s applications range from ready-to-wear, to denim, to performance fabrics, to intimate apparel, and we are constantly exploring new opportunities to expand our applications. With the combination of sustainable and performance benefits, we are focused on growing an even greater presence across the entire apparel industry.

What are the latest innovations in this industry?

Technology is completely changing the fibre industry, opening doors to new processes and innovations that were not possible before. Today, we can leverage technology to source ingredients for bio-based materials, like Sorona, integrate them with other fibres and enhance their attributes and create products superior in quality and yet eco-efficient for the environment.

Please share details of your last two fiscals, and the factors affecting your performance.

Although specific financial information is confidential, we are seeing excellent growth for Sorona in apparel specifically due to the market demand for high performance fibres that have a sustainable feedstock component. Our customers are looking for performance in softness, stretch and recovery, insulating properties, durability, and ability to wick - and combined with Sorona's sustainability footprint, we are experiencing exceptional growth.

What markets do you plan to penetrate into in the near future?

We are focused on continuing to expand across all areas of fashion, including active outdoor sport, athleisure, denim, ready-to-wear, insulation, intimate apparel and high-end fashion.

Which are the three main sustainable policies followed at your units?

At DuPont, we lead by example creating innovative, sustainable solutions while reducing our footprint and supporting communities in which we operate around the world. We look at agricultural systems that yield ample, safe and nutritious food while reducing the impact on the environment; abundant, sustainable energy that decreases our dependence on non-renewable sources; protection of things that matter most-the planet and its inhabitants. DuPont creates products and services that help meet these needs. We are resolved to meet these needs responsibly, working directly in communities in which we operate. We have committed to reducing our footprint, and encourage our partners and suppliers to work with us to enhance sustainability throughout our supply chain and theirs. Our scientists and engineers work closely with academic institutions, governments, other companies and NGOs to develop, support and sustain scientific education and research directly focused on meeting urgent global challenges while protecting the planet and its people.

What are the major challenges faced by the performance fibres industry?

A challenge - and an opportunity for Sorona - lies in developing fibres in a sustainable way that do not compromise on performance. We have to do so in a way that is accessible and economical enough to make an impact across the apparel industry.
Published on: 08/09/2016

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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