Executive VP-New Ventures and Marketing The Lycra Company
We see potential for Lycra fibres rising in Brazil, India, Vietnam, Africa
The Lycra Company innovates and produces fibre and technology solutions for the apparel and hygiene industries, as well as specialty chemicals used in the spandex and polyurethane value chains. Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, the firm is recognised worldwide for its innovative products. Serge Vigouroux, executive vice president, new ventures and marketing, speaks about the spandex market, latest applications in apparel categories and the company's commitment to sustainability.
How has the demand for Lycra fibre grown in the last 10 years? How would you describe the market in the Asia-Pacific?
The deep global economic crisis of 2007-2009 caused us to focus on our branded fibre technology business-the Lycra, Coolmax and Thermolite brands. We put all our efforts behind what the marketplace valued most and promoted our unique differentiated offerings meeting those needs. With increasing demand for our products globally over the last 10 years, we have been very successful financially. This success was achieved thanks to the tireless efforts of our talented global workforce, our strong commitment to compliance and ethics, and our focus on innovation, on manufacturing excellence, on brands and marketing services to the benefit of our customers eventually. The market in Asia-Pacific, specifically China, has been very receptive to the value of Lycra fibre, not merely for exports, but also for the local consumer market, where we observed unprecedented growth.
Where is the application growing-athleisure, sportswear, denim, innerwear, swimwear or casualwear? What new ones do you foresee?
We are starting to see resurgence in the well-established categories like shirting. For new categories, we commission proprietary research to predict trends and areas of growth. In response, we develop new innovations and promote existing products that will help our customers capture opportunities we have identified. Lycra fibre technologies have supported many recent trends by meeting consumers' need for better fitting and more comfortable garments, such as bralettes in the intimate apparel segment, athleisure in the activewear segment, and jeggings in the denim segment.
What is the percentage-wise usage of spandex in womenswear versus menswear?
The core benefits of Lycra fibre-comfort and better fit-are universally delivered to the customer. It transcends gender, age and end-use category.
What is Lycra fibre's market share in the spandex yarn markets?
As a privately-held company, we do not disclose financial or market information. However, we can say that as the inventor of spandex, and as one of the market leaders in branded and differentiated fibre solutions, we have product offerings that meet needs across the value chain. Working with us, our customers also benefit from leveraging the unique strength of the Lycra brand, that enjoys 87 per cent of consumer awareness.
Which are your top three markets in terms of geographies? Where do you see the potential rising?
Our business is global in nature and we serve customers worldwide. This includes serving major markets like China, North America and Europe; but also markets like Brazil, India, Vietnam and emerging apparel and textile markets like Africa.
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