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PLANET AGENDA to improve performance of garments with natural fibers
12
Sep '08
INVISTA Apparel, a business division of one of the world's largest integrated fibers manufacturer, announces PLANET AGENDA, a new framework for innovation that can help the apparel industry grow in sustainable ways. INVISTA believes that combining textile science and technology with sound environmental practices and the efficient use of resources is key to improving the industry's environmental performance and reducing its environmental impact.

INVISTA's goal is to be at the forefront of the industry's challenge to meet long-term demand with longer-lasting products that are produced in a way that protects the environment, reduces emissions, and eliminates waste. The new framework reflects the emphasis on integrity, compliance and environmental stewardship embodied in INVISTA's Market Based Management business philosophy.

Margaret Jacob, recently appointed to the position of Sustainability Director, INVISTA Apparel, believes the launch is timely. "Our company, like many others, is making diligent efforts to reduce its environmental footprint. At INVISTA, environmental stewardship is not new, and it is not a special project or initiative. Developing and using our capabilities to create real, long-term value for customers and for society is the goal of our actions every day, and it is how we measure our progress in every way. PLANET AGENDA reflects this fact and gives examples of how we apply our vision of sustainability within our Apparel business."

INVISTA Apparel's PLANET AGENDA framework has three strategic ambitions: 1) to minimize the environmental impact of synthetic fibers, 2) to improve natural fiber performance by combining synthetic and natural fibers, and 3) to reduce the impact of consumer garment use. Dr. Robert Kirkwood, Vice President, Technology, INVISTA Apparel states "we believe our science can make a significant contribution in these areas, and we are focusing resources to do so."

INVISTA has already made progress in addressing the impact of its manufacturing operations. New manufacturing technologies – in addition to waste reduction and efficient use of resources – enable continuing progress at INVISTA plants around the world.

The company's recently announced COOLMAX EcoTech wicking fibers and fabrics for legwear are made from recycled PET containers – with an estimated 70% energy saving, without loss of comfort or performance.

Beyond the factory gate, the goal is to reduce the environmental impact of synthetic fiber use by customers through new generation products such as Easy Set LYCRA fiber and steam-settable LYCRA fiber that are less energy intensive for mills to process, and LYCRA Soft Comfort, a fiber that can be drafted more efficiently to yield more yarn.

PLANET AGENDA initiatives also seek to improve the performance of garments with natural fibers. Margaret Jacob comments: "LYCRA fibers and other specialty synthetic products can improve the performance of new naturals such as bamboo, soy and hemp. We believe that this can have a positive influence over quality and performance, meeting customer expectations and exerting real influence in the marketplace."

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