ZURICH, Oct. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — HeiQ announces a potential game-changer for the textile industry with the introduction of HeiQ AeoniQ — a high performance cellulose yarn based on a new fiber derived from carbon negative materials. This new fiber, which is derived from third generation cellulosic biopolymers, is advancing to pilot production prior to mass commercialization. The LYCRA Company is first to join HeiQ as a development partner.
Whether it is cotton, wool or synthetic polymers, global textile production has a significant environmental impact with the industry responsible for more than 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions and over 20% of wastewater worldwide1. Conventional cellulosic fiber production uses arable land during growth and have limited design versatility, while raw materials for fossil-based synthetic materials are finite. Existing methods to recycle textile fabrics and garments made with all fibers are, for the most part, still not at scale and most fibers – whether synthetic or natural – take many years to degrade in landfills or oceans, leading to environmental build up.
HeiQ AeoniQ cellulosic yarn made of climate positive raw materials
HeiQ AeoniQ yarns (Aeon: striving for eternal circularity) are made out of cellulosic biopolymers that during growth bind carbon from the atmosphere while generating oxygen. This high-performance yarn is positioned to potentially substitute synthetic filament yarns which constitute over 60% of global annual textile output of 108 million metric tons 2. Further, when compared to conventional cellulosic products, HeiQ AeoniQ yarns do not draw on arable land, pesticides or fertilizer in their production.
HeiQ AeoniQ yarns are designed for cradle-to-cradle circularity and can be recycled repeatedly while maintaining consistent fiber quality. The manufacturing process is expected to consume 99% less water than cotton yarns and HeiQ AeoniQ is designed to offer comparable performance properties to polyester, nylon and conventional regenerated cellulose yarns.
Inviting first adopters
HeiQ’s leading industry experts stand ready to deliver the first HeiQ AeoniQ yarns from the pilot production plant in Q2 2022. Given the outstanding qualities, the unique decarbonizing potential offered and outstanding ESG3 credentials, HeiQ is inviting a maximum of 20 sustainability-driven brand partners to be the first to market with products made of this game-changing future yarn.
The LYCRA Company as a primary development partner
HeiQ announces that The LYCRA Company, with its renowned collection of brands, global retail customer network and fabric innovation capabilities, will be a primary apparel development partner for HeiQ AeoniQ yarns with an exclusivity for stretch and performance fabrics. The LYCRA Company has a complete range of certified, sustainable products and is continuously complementing this range via the development of new types of LYCRA® fiber. These fibers have the potential to be combined with HeiQ AeoniQ yarn to create unique decarbonizing and degradable elastic fabrics.
HeiQ Group co-founder and CEO, Carlo Centonze states: «Climate change needs new inventions. By bringing HeiQ AeoniQ yarn to the textile industry, we will reduce our dependence on oil-based fibers, help decarbonize our planet and reduce the impact of the industry on climate change. Our yarn is a versatile alternative to polyester, nylon, and even conventional cellulosics and therefore has huge industry transformation potential. By wearing clothes made of HeiQ AeoniQ consumers can act in support of reducing C02 in our atmosphere. Adoption by billions of people offers potential to bind hundreds of millions of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. A battle worth the fight.»
The LYCRA Company CEO Julien Born notes: «With our future company strategy centering on sustainable solutions for the textile industry, we are proud to partner with HeiQ in both the technical development and commercialization of this fiber. The industry is ready for innovations such as HeiQ AeoniQ, and by combining our capabilities with those of HeiQ, we are truly well positioned to learn quickly and maximize the huge potential of this new technology.»
Mr. Martin Gebert-Germ, a viscose filament yarn expert with 30 years of experience in the textile industry, stated, «This technology is the game changer for the whole textile industry.» Mr. Gebert-Germ, will join the newly-established HeiQ GmbH Austria as CEO and will be leading the HeiQ AeoniQ business from November 2021.
1. The World Bank 2019.
3. Environment, Social, Governance
Founded in 2005 as a spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) and listed on the London Stock Exchange Main Market (LSE:HEIQ), HeiQ is a leader in textile and materials innovation creating some of the most effective, durable and high-performance technologies on the market today. HeiQ strives to improve the lives of billions of people through pioneering textiles and materials innovation. Combining three areas of expertise – scientific research, specialty materials manufacturing and consumer ingredient branding – HeiQ is the ideal innovation partner to create differentiating and sustainable products and capture the added value at the point of sale. With its 14 offices, 7 manufacturing sites and 7 R&D hubs, HeiQ today employs 190 professionals. It has a total capacity of 45’000 tons of specialty chemicals per year and serves over 1’000 industrial customers in over 60 countries. Today, HeiQ’s consumer goods and medical devices can be found in 56 countries. For more information, visit www.heiq.com
About The LYCRA Company
The LYCRA Company innovates and produces fiber and technology solutions for the apparel and personal care industries. Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, The LYCRA Company is recognized worldwide for its innovative products, technical expertise, sustainable solutions, and unmatched marketing support. The LYCRA Company owns leading consumer and trade brands: LYCRA®, LYCRA HyFit®, LYCRA® T400®, COOLMAX®, THERMOLITE®, ELASPAN®, SUPPLEX®, and TACTEL®. The LYCRA Company’s legacy stretches back to 1958 with the invention of the original spandex yarn, LYCRA® fiber. Today, The LYCRA Company focuses on adding value to its customers’ products by developing unique innovations designed to meet the consumer’s need for comfort and lasting performance. For more information, visit www.thelycracompany.com
HeiQ Materials AG
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