July 13, 2021 Freya Burton

LanzaTech and lululemon partner to create the first fabric using recycled carbon emissions

Partnership includes India Glycols Limited and Far Eastern New Century

Biotechnology company LanzaTech today announced it has partnered with lululemon athletica inc. (NASDAQ:LULU), an athletic apparel company, to create the world’s first yarn and fabric using recycled carbon emissions that would otherwise be emitted to the atmosphere as pollution. LanzaTech uses nature-based solutions to produce ethanol from waste carbon sources and is working with partners India Glycols Limited (IGL) and Far Eastern New Century (FENC, TWSE: 1402) to convert ethanol to polyester.

Recycling carbon is a fundamental element of the circular economy, which will keep fossil carbon in the ground, reducing pollution and fossil fuel usage when used to make polyester. With a lower carbon footprint, this innovation could transform lululemon’s products and the apparel industry.

Jennifer Holmgren, CEO, LanzaTech said, “We must radically change how we source, utilize and dispose of carbon. Carbon recycling enables companies like lululemon to continue to move away from virgin fossil resources, bring circularity to their products, and achieve their climate change goals around carbon reduction. We call this being ‘CarbonSmart.’”

Ted Dagnese, Chief Supply Chain Officer, lululemon said, “lululemon is committed to making products that are better in every way – building a healthier future for ourselves, for our communities, and for our planet. We know sustainable innovation will play a key role in the future of retail and apparel, and we are excited to be at the forefront of an innovative technology. Our partnership with LanzaTech will help lululemon deliver on our Impact Agenda goals to make 100% of our products with sustainable materials and end-of- use solutions, moving us toward a circular ecosystem by 2030.”

In October, lululemon released its first Impact Agenda, outlining its multi-year strategies to address critical social and environmental issues with 12 goals to drive progress. The partnership with LanzaTech is one of the many ways lululemon is focused on bringing new technologies to the business.

LanzaTech’s process sources carbon from different types of feedstocks, from industrial emissions to syngas from gasified agricultural or household waste (including textile waste) and atmospheric CO2. The gas stream is fermented by LanzaTech’s special microorganisms into ethanol or other chemicals. The process is like traditional fermentation, except instead of sugars and yeast, it uses the carbon contained in waste gases and the microorganisms.

The process of capturing and recycling carbon before it is released in the atmosphere is an innovation that LanzaTech has brought to airlines, home care companies, and now textile production.

Polyester fiber is one of the most popular synthetic fibers which commonly uses petroleum-based feedstock. Using FENC®TOPGREEN®Bio3-PET fiber made from LanzaTech’s ethanol shows FENC’s and lululemon’s commitments to sustainable innovation. This waste-gas-based polyester possesses not only the same appearance but also the same properties and functionality of virgin polyester.

Industrial emissions, such as those from a steel mill, would otherwise be combusted and emitted as GHGs and particulate emissions harmful to the health of our planet and our communities. By capturing these and reusing the carbon to make yarn, the finished garments not only have a lower carbon footprint but ensure community pollution levels are reduced. If these chemicals are made into new products such as textiles, once these products reach the end of their useful life and become waste, they can be gasified and fermented by LanzaTech’s process. In this sense, the pathway promotes circularity, keeping the carbon in the material cycle.

“Partnering with technology leaders and other reputed companies is a great way to create the much needed sustainable business models which are so important to help us deal with the major challenges like climate change that we face,” commented Mr U S Bhartia, Chairman of IGL. Rupark Sarswat, CEO, IGL said, “We take pride in being part of this exciting collaboration for a better planet and what better way than to capture emissions and use innovative green technologies to create useful CarbonSmart products.”

Dr. Fanny Liao, EVP of RD & BD, FENC said, “Since initially connecting LanzaTech’s Taiwanese joint-venture setup with a pilot plant in Taiwan, I believed this waste-gas-based polyester formation would be a sustainable solution for the polyester industry. We are happy to team up with IGL and lululemon to complete the supply chain for this historical project and continue working with LanzaTech towards our common goal for a better Earth.”

About LanzaTech

LanzaTech harnesses the power of biology and big data to create climate-safe materials and fuels.

With expertise in Synthetic biology, bioinformatics, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning coupled with engineering, LanzaTech has created a platform that converts waste carbon into new everyday products that would otherwise come from virgin fossil resources. LanzaTech’s first commercial scale gas fermentation plant has produced over 20M gallons of ethanol which is the equivalent of keeping over 120,000 metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. Additional plants are under construction globally. LanzaTech is based in Illinois, USA and employs more than 200 people.
Further information is available at www.lanzatech.com.

About lululemon athletica inc.

lululemon athletica inc. (NASDAQ:LULU) is a healthy lifestyle inspired athletic apparel company for yoga, running, training, and most other sweaty pursuits, creating transformational products and experiences which enable people to live a life they love. Setting the bar in technical fabrics and functional designs, lululemon works with yogis and athletes in local communities for continuous research and product feedback. For more information, visit www.lululemon.com

About India Glycols LTD

India Glycols is a leading company that manufactures green technology-based bulk, specialty and performance chemicals and natural gums, spirits, industrial gases, sugar and nutraceuticals. The company was established as a single mono-ethylene glycol plant in 1983. Since then, IGL has brought together cutting-edge technology, innovation and an unflagging commitment to manufacture a wide range of products that have found global demand. Today, IGL’s state-of-the-art, integrated facility is the first of its kind in the world using feedstocks from renewable sources.
Further information is available at India Glycols | Index

About FENC

FENC (www.fenc.com), the parent company of conglomerate Far Eastern Group (www.feg.com.tw), is a global leader in sustainable development, textile innovation, design, and manufacturing. The headquarter of Far Eastern Group is in Taipei, Taiwan with more than 65,000 employees globally. FENC provides customers with a full range of polyester/PET sustainable and recycling solutions. FENC reused 8.1 billion PET bottles in 2020, intercepted 6,000 metric tons of marine waste plastics and totally reduced 900 thousand tons of carbon emission including the use of bio-based PET. FENC®TOPGREEN®Bio3-PET made from LanzaTechs’s biologically converted ethanol. In addition to alleviating the suspicion of consuming edible sugar, FENC®TOPGREEN®Bio3-PET also reduces carbon emissions due to the fixing carbons of waste gases which makes a great contribution to the reduction of pollution and circular economy.