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Sustainable and Recycled Fibres for Sportswear

  • ID: 4384128
  • Report
  • Region: Global
  • 25 Pages
  • World Textile Information Network
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The Sustainability Drive Within the Sportswear Segment Stems from Consumers’ Increasing Interest in Sports Participation and Active Lifestyles


  • Aquafil SpA
  • DuPont
  • Lenzing
  • NatureWorks LLC
  • Patrick Yarns
  • Radici Group
  • MORE

Speak to any sportswear company about their business strategy and you’re sure to hear about their goals to improve the sustainability of their products. It’s everywhere. And, as consumers continue to tap into the benefits of sustainable and recycled garments, and become more aware of concerns impacting the environment, the sustainable movement will only continue to grow.

The sustainability drive within the sportswear segment stems from consumers’ increasing interest in sports participation and active lifestyles. This has given the activewear and outdoor clothing industries ample opportunities to meet this growing demand. And, while the initial interest of consumers was centred on product performance and aesthetics, today the focus has shifted to sustainable materials – particularly for those who are involved in activities close to nature. Various established firms have already successfully introduced new product lines made of sustainable fibres, while new firms have entered the market by promoting their use.

This report will take you through some of the basic concepts that are important to understanding fibre sustainability, together with a description of the functions required in this branch of the market. The second part of the report will provide an overview of fibres used in activewear and outdoor clothing. While the final part will discuss examples of sustainable fibre development coming from both the academic and manufacturers’ scene.

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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  • Aquafil SpA
  • DuPont
  • Lenzing
  • NatureWorks LLC
  • Patrick Yarns
  • Radici Group
  • MORE

Executive summary

1 Introduction

2 Sustainability in sportswear
2.1 Growing and sourcing
2.2 Processing and chemicals
2.3 Use
2.4 End-of-life
2.5 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and certifications

3 Sustainability and performance
3.1 Thermal comfort
3.1.1 Mass and heat transfer
3.1.2 Absorbency
3.1.3 Wicking
3.2 Durability

4 Types of fibres used in sportswear
4.1 Natural fibres
4.2 Synthetic fibres
4.3 Regenerated fibres
4.4 Recycled fibres

5 Innovative sustainable and recycled fibres used in sportswear
5.1 Commercial perspective
5.1.1 Alpaca, llama and guanaco fibres
5.1.2 Lyocell
5.1.3 Cornleaf and Ingeo
5.1.4 S.Café
5.1.5 REPREVE and EarthSpun
5.1.6 EcoNyl
5.2 Ongoing research and developments
5.2.1 Organic cotton
5.2.2 Flax
5.2.3 Hemp
5.2.4 Nettle
5.2.5 PLA
5.2.6 Azlons - SPF

6 Conclusions

7 References

List of Figures
Figure 1 Mechanisms involved in body heat loss
Figure 2 Schematic representation of the wicking mechanism
Figure 3 Schematic representation of the double-layer fabric
Figure 4 Natural, man-made and recycled fibres

List of Tables
Table 1 Origin of regenerated protein fibres, protein involved in the process and fibre names
Table 2 Summary of sustainable and recycled commercial fibres
Table 3 Summary of sustainable fibres of particular interest in current research and development

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  • Aquafil SpA
  • Camira Fabrics
  • DuPont
  • EarthSpun
  • Lenzing
  • Levi Strauss
  • NatureWorks LLC
  • Patagonia
  • Patrick Yarns
  • Quiksilver
  • Radici Group
  • S.Cafe
  • Singtex Industrial Co
  • Swiftwick
  • Unifi
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown