Hyosung Undergoes Textile Innovation to Replace Synthetic Fibers

Editorial TeamEditorial Team
December 5th, 2023
10:14 AM

Hyosung is pioneering sustainable alternatives in synthetic materials like polyester and spandex, demonstrating a commitment to diverse, eco-friendly options amid varying industry sustainability goals, showcased through innovative products at global trade events.

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In the realm of synthetic materials, such as polyester, nylon, and spandex, traditionally derived from fossil fuel-based polymers, Hyosung is taking significant strides in offering sustainable alternatives to the textile industry. In a time when sustainability paths diverge, Hyosung stands out by providing diverse options tailored to individual companies' priorities and goals.

The company's commitment to advancing its fiber offerings is evident through ongoing research and development, culminating in the introduction of new products showcased at global trade events like the Functional Fabric Fair in Portland, Oregon, Kingpins Show Amsterdam, and ISPO Munich.

Simon Whitmarsh-Knight, Global Marketing Director – Textiles at Hyosung, emphasizes the company's pioneering role in product innovation and development. This innovation has led to increased collaborations with customers, fostering bespoke storytelling as brands and retailers seek closer partnerships with Hyosung.


From Bio-Based Spandex to 100% Recycled Fibers

Among Hyosung's notable alternative fibers is creora® Bio-Based spandex, a groundbreaking product using industrial corn as a sustainable input, replacing a portion of fossil fuels with this renewable agricultural resource. The evolution of this product is evident in its initial launch in late 2022 with 30% corn content, now ramped up to an impressive 70%. Hyosung is actively working on a third option with an even higher corn-based input percentage, showcasing the company's commitment to continuous improvement.

While innovations often come with higher prices due to downstream supply chain adjustments, Hyosung's approach is pragmatic. Instead of replacing the 30% version, the new 70% creora Bio-Based offering is an additional option, providing customers with choices that align with their cost and sustainability requirements. This strategic move allows more customers to meet their unique goals.

Hyosung's dedication to sustainability extends beyond bio-based spandex, with a focus on expanding its certified 100% recycled fiber selection. The Recycled Claim Standard-certified creora regen spandex, made from pre-consumer industrial waste, and GRS-certified regen Ocean nylon, derived from discarded fishing nets, exemplify Hyosung's commitment to circularity and waste reduction. Recognizing the market demand for post-consumer recycled nylon, the company offers a blend of 50% virgin nylon and 50% post-consumer recycled nylon, balancing quality and cost-effectiveness.


Hyosung's Sustainable Denim Revolution

In a significant move, Hyosung is merging its performance and sustainable fiber solutions, particularly in the denim sector. The creora 3D Max performance product, renowned for its stretch and recovery, now has a circular option. This innovation eliminates the need for polyester content in denim, supporting recyclability, a key objective outlined in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Jeans Redesign Program.

Hyosung acknowledges the growing demand for sustainable options in denim, aligning with the evolution of consumer preferences. Whitmarsh-Knight underscores that sustainability does not compromise performance. All sustainable offerings, including recycled fibers, undergo rigorous performance tests to ensure they meet industry standards, particularly in denim where factors like shrinkage are crucial.

Addressing concerns about feedstock shortages, Whitmarsh-Knight reassures that the post-consumer feedstocks used by Hyosung for recycled fibers are secure for the foreseeable future. If a shortage were to occur in the future, it would signal success. However, he emphasizes that the industry's primary challenge lies in infrastructure for collection and sorting. Hyosung actively collaborates with customers, startups, and the industry at large to explore solutions to these challenges, recognizing that collective efforts are essential to finding sustainable solutions in the textile industry.