The last two decades have been a tipping point for sustainability and the demand for stronger commitments in the next 20 is increasing. To see how far the industry has come, and what matters for the future, Sorona is reflecting on its history and reinforcing its commitment to enabling fabrics with exceptional performance and sustainability.
In 2000, the launch of Sorona as the world’s first 3GT polymer was a landmark moment in sustainable textiles. It wasn’t until 2-years later that the USDA BioPreferred® program was introduced. Once it was, Sorona was one of the first 11 products approved. Leading into its introduction, Sorona underwent stringent testing for its performance and sustainability.
“We would only introduce a product to market if it performed better and met higher sustainability standards than the incumbent” says DuPont Biomaterials Global Marketing & Commercial Development Director - Renee Henze. “There’s an opportunity for us to clarify the thought that biomaterials might not perform as well as many traditional options. In reality, Sorona® performs better and is more sustainable from its creation through the end of its lifecycle. That’s a critical consideration as we look towards the future of our planet and the materials we use in our everyday lives.”
The development of Bio-PDO, the bio-based building block of Sorona, uses 30% less energy to produce and releases significantly less amount of greenhouse gas CO2 compared to nylon 6. Among its many uses, Sorona can be a replacement for nylon 6 in garments including swimwear and activewear. “We believe our commitment to performance and sustainability is the reason why brands choose materials made with Sorona® for stretch recovery, faux fur styles and superior warmth,” says Alexa Raab, Global Brand and Communications Leader for Sorona.
Now, what’s next? Product innovation is one part of the sustainability picture. Upon its launch this past year, Sorona faux fur was awarded the ISPO Textrend “Best Product” in the Accelerated Eco category for the Fall/Winter 2021/22 season.
Made with 70 to 100 percent bio-based Sorona polymer fibers, it’s one of the first commercially available faux furs using plant-based ingredients. As the apparel industry pivots away from animal fur, this innovative product provides a thoughtful solution with a luxurious, premium look and feel for fashion apparel and accessories—such as the inside lining of a jacket, or the trim on a collar or earmuffs—and offers key performance attributes including warmth, design flexibility and dyeability.
Traceability and transparency are another essential part of sustainability. This year, Sorona introduced the Common Thread Fabric Certification Program. “More than ever, consumers are expecting brands to deliver on their sustainability promise,” says Raab. “This program is the best way to meet that need and guarantee high performance and sustainability.” Mills that are part of the Common Thread Fabric Certification Program carry a certificate to assure fabrics have the unique molecular footprint of partially plant-based Sorona polymer, and meet the quality standards Sorona is known for, including unparalleled softness, long-lasting stretch performance and durability.