Lululemon partners with LanzaTech to produce yarn made of recycled carbon emissions

The biotechnology company and athletic retailer has announced a new yarn and fabric, comprising emissions that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.

20 July 2021

Lululemon Athletica, an athletic apparel retailer, has partnered with biotechnology company LanzaTech to produce yarn and fabric comprised of recycled carbon emissions that would otherwise be emitted as pollution. Working with partners India Glycols Limited and Far Eastern New Century, the companies use natural solutions to produce ethanol from waste carbon which is then converted into polyester.

The announcement is a positive move for the retailer, particularly since the recycled carbon will reduce pollution and fossil fuel usage. According to LanzaTech – a company that uses biology and data to create climate-safe materials and fuels – this is a fundamental element of the circular economy as it sources carbon from different types of feedstocks. This includes industrial emissions to syngas from gassed agricultural or household waste (such as textiles) and atmospheric CO2. The process is likened to fermentation, but sugar and yeast are replaced with carbon that contains wasted gas. So far, the process is used by airlines, home care companies and textile production.

Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech says on the LanzaTech site: “We must radically change how we source, utilise 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 of Lululemon adds: “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 per cent of our products with sustainable materials and end-of-use solutions, moving us toward a circular ecosystem by 2030.”

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Photo courtesy of LanzaTech (Copyright © Lululemon Athletica x LanzaTech, 2021)

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Ayla Angelos

Ayla is currently covering Jenny as It’s Nice That’s online editor. She has spent nearly a decade as a journalist, and covers a range of topics including photography, art and graphic design. Feel free to contact Ayla with any stories or new creative projects.

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