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From take, make, waste to reduce, reuse, recycle: that’s the shift taking place in the global textile industry (and many others) today. In fact, the industry is facing pressure on multiple fronts – from governments, investors, and consumers alike – to adopt more sustainable solutions and mitigate the significant environmental impact of the manufacturing, shipping, and consumption of textiles. To make it happen, cross-value-chain efforts need to be implemented by both product and material manufacturers.

Backing bio-based feedstocks

As a market leader in ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) and as part of the Avient family, Dyneema® is dedicated to protecting natural resources and supporting the recycling and repurposing of end-of-use products made with our fibers. After all, we have a responsibility to deliver products that protect our planet as well as its people.

That’s why we introduced the world’s first-ever bio-based high-modulus polyethylene (HMPE) fiber in 2020. Sourced from renewable bio-based feedstock using the mass balance approach, bio-based Dyneema® fiber reduces our reliance on fossil-based resources – without compromising on performance, protection, comfort, or durability. The result? When integrated into high-performance fabrics and protective knitwear, our solution provides a more sustainable alternative for outdoor, sport, and lifestyle products as well as personal protective equipment (PPE) for manufacturing applications.

Dyneema®: Making safety more sustainable

Let’s zoom in on PPE for a moment. When bio-based Dyneema® fiber makes up a significant portion of the material composition of fabrics or protective knitwear, it enables unique reductions in the product’s overall carbon footprint. For example, life-cycle assessment calculations show that cut-resistant gloves (cut level 4 performance) made with bio-based Dyneema® fiber generate only 2,800 kg of CO2 emissions per 10,000 pairs – 6.5 times lower than generic HMPE fiber and 6 times lower than aramid fiber. What’s more, industrial fabrics with more than 70% bio-based Dyneema® fiber also have a lower carbon footprint than fabrics made with generic polyethylene or other fossil-derived synthetic materials like polyamide and polyester.

But what about performance?

Great news: bio-based Dyneema® fiber delivers the same outstanding performance and durability as conventional Dyneema®. In fact, it’s the perfect drop-in solution, for applications where the world’s strongest fiber™ is already used. Many industry leaders in the outdoor market have already completed the switch to bio-based Dyneema® fiber across their product portfolios – benefiting from greater sustainability without sacrificing performance.

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Meet the CirculariTeam®

We wanted to go further to improve the environmental impact of Dyneema®-based products across our value chain – and so our cross-industry coalition was born. The CirculariTeam® addresses the recycling and repurposing of end-of-use products made with Dyneema® fiber across three industry segments, one of which is textiles and clothing.

Working together with other industry leaders, we’ll address seven key themes:

  • Reverse logistics

  • Recycle and reuse

  • Efficiency in production processes

  • Separation of waste into material components

  • Design for circularity

  • Regulation

  • Information sharing

Sustainability starts at home

Customer collaboration? Check. Material innovation? Check. And we’re also committed to responsible manufacturing targets, to reduce our carbon footprint. For example, we’ve already far surpassed our original ambition of using 75% renewable electricity at our fiber manufacturing facilities by 2030: in fact, we hit the full 100% back in 2021.

All of this adds up to more sustainable solutions for the textile industry – helping to deliver protective fabric and knitwear products that care for the safety of people and the health of our planet, now and in the future.

Contact our experts

Interested in learning more about Dyneema® for your project or end-use application? Reach out to our team of experts today.

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