Taiwan's Dairen Chemical Partners with LYCRA and Qore on Biobased Spandex

Taiwan-based Dairen Chemical Corporation signs a letter of intent with The LYCRA Company and Qore to develop biobased LYCRA fiber, reducing the textile industry's environmental impact. The collaboration aims to produce 70% biobased spandex using QIRA, a next-generation 1,4-butanediol.

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Nitish Verma
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Taiwan's Dairen Chemical Partners with LYCRA and Qore on Biobased Spandex

Taiwan's Dairen Chemical Partners with LYCRA and Qore on Biobased Spandex

In a significant step towards sustainable textile production, Taiwan-based Dairen Chemical Corporation (DCC) has signed a letter of intent with The LYCRA Company and Qore to develop biobased LYCRA fiber, commonly known as spandex. The collaboration aims to produce 70% biobased spandex using QIRA, a next-generation 1,4-butanediol (BDO) produced by Qore, which DCC will convert into low-impact PTMEG, the main ingredient in the patented bio-derived LYCRA fiber.

Why this matters: This partnership marks a crucial step towards reducing the environmental impact of thetextile industry, which is one of the largest polluters in the world. As the demand for sustainable products continues to grow, innovations like biobased spandex can have a significant influence on the industry's carbon footprint and contribute to a more environmentally conscious future.

DCC is set to become the first company to mass-produce this low-impact bio-PTMEG at scale, marking a major milestone in the textile industry's shift towards more environmentally conscious practices. The biobased LYCRA fiber, expected to be available in early 2025, will offer equivalent performance to traditional LYCRA fiber, making it an easy replacement for mills, brands, and retailers. This development could reduce the carbon footprint of LYCRA fiber by up to 44% compared to its non-biobased counterpart.

Lin Shean Tung, Chairman of DCC, emphasized the importance of this partnership, stating, "Sustainability is not merely a trend but an imperative for the future of our planet. We are honored to receive the Green Partner Award and embark on this journey alongside The LYCRA Company, advancing sustainable practices in the industry." Steve Stewart, Chief Brand and Innovation Officer of The LYCRA Company, expressed excitement about the collaboration, saying, "We are excited to collaborate with DCC to bring bio-derived LYCRA fiber made with QIRA to market and realize our shared vision for a more sustainable value chain."

The LYCRA Company is a global leader in developing innovative, sustainable solutions for the apparel and personal care industries. Qore, a joint venture between Cargill and HELM AG, helps leading brands replace fossil-based chemistries with bio-derived intermediates. DCC, headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, is a leading maker of acetyl and allyl chemicals.

The biobased LYCRA fiber, once commercially available, will have wide-ranging applications in clothing, medicine, and upholstery. DCC's low-impact allyl alcohol process creates the lowest impact PTMEG available, which is cleaner and has a lower carbon footprint than products produced with natural gas or coal. This collaboration between industry leaders marks a significant advancement in the realm of sustainable textile production, paving the way for a greener future in the fashion and textile industries.

Key Takeaways

  • Taiwan-based Dairen Chemical signs pact with The LYCRA Company and Qore to develop biobased spandex.
  • Partnership aims to produce 70% biobased spandex, reducing textile industry's environmental impact.
  • Biobased LYCRA fiber to be available in 2025, offering equivalent performance to traditional LYCRA fiber.
  • Development could reduce LYCRA fiber's carbon footprint by up to 44% compared to non-biobased counterpart.
  • Biobased LYCRA fiber to have wide-ranging applications in clothing, medicine, and upholstery.