New York (September 2008) - INVISTA Apparel, a business division of one of the world's largest integrated fibers manufacturer, announces PLANET AGENDA, a new framework for innovation that can help the apparel industry grow in sustainable ways. INVISTA believes that combining textile science and technology with sound environmental practices and the efficient use of resources is key to improving the industry's environmental performance and reducing its environmental impact.

INVISTA's goal is to be at the forefront of the industry's challenge to meet long-term demand with longer-lasting products that are produced in a way that protects the environment, reduces emissions, and eliminates waste. The new framework reflects the emphasis on integrity, compliance and environmental stewardship embodied in INVISTA's Market Based Management® business philosophy.

Margaret Jacob, recently appointed to the position of Sustainability Director, INVISTA Apparel, believes the launch is timely. "Our company, like many others, is making diligent efforts to reduce its environmental footprint. At INVISTA, environmental stewardship is not new, and it is not a special project or initiative. Developing and using our capabilities to create real, long-term value for customers and for society is the goal of our actions every day, and it is how we measure our progress in every way. PLANET AGENDA reflects this fact and gives examples of how we apply our vision of sustainability within our Apparel business."

INVISTA Apparel's PLANET AGENDA framework has three strategic ambitions: 1) to minimize the environmental impact of synthetic fibers, 2) to improve natural fiber performance by combining synthetic and natural fibers, and 3) to reduce the impact of consumer garment use. Dr. Robert Kirkwood, Vice President, Technology, INVISTA Apparel states "we believe our science can make a significant contribution in these areas, and we are focusing resources to do so."

INVISTA has already made progress in addressing the impact of its manufacturing operations. New manufacturing technologies in addition to waste reduction and efficient use of resources enable continuing progress at INVISTA plants around the world.

The company's recently announced COOLMAX™ EcoTech™ wicking fibers and fabrics for legwear are made from recycled PET containers with an estimated 70% energy saving, without loss of comfort or performance.

Beyond the factory gate, the goal is to reduce the environmental impact of synthetic fiber use by customers through new generation products such as Easy Set LYCRA® fiber and steam-settable LYCRA® fiber that are less energy intensive for mills to process, and LYCRA® Soft Comfort, a fiber that can be drafted more efficiently to yield more yarn.

PLANET AGENDA initiatives also seek to improve the performance of garments with natural fibers. Margaret Jacob comments: "LYCRA® fibers and other specialty synthetic products can improve the performance of new naturals such as bamboo, soy and hemp. We believe that this can have a positive influence over quality and performance, meeting customer expectations and exerting real influence in the marketplace."

INVISTA believes that the distinction between synthetics and naturals may become less relevant as consumers recognize that combinations of the two are the best way to balance their expectations of comfort, fit and freedom of movement with environmental preferences. The Global Organic Textile Standards permits fabrics and garments containing up to 5% LYCRA® fiber to be labeled as organic.

Also within the framework of PLANET AGENDA, INVISTA is conducting life-cycle analysis studies to help determine how the "cradle-to- grave" impact of different types of garments can be reduced.

Small gains multiplied by millions of consumers can make a large contribution towards sustainability. For example, in garment care high-tech fabric protection systems minimize cleaning needs, and fibers and fabrics suited to lower wash and iron temperatures can reduce the energy intensity of care processes. Advanced fiber and fabric technologies also have a part to play, prolonging durability and appearance retention and therefore garment life.

Robert Kirkwood is confident about the role of fiber science in reconciling long-term supply and demand, but emphasizes that this is just one part of a bigger, more complex sustainability equation. "We want to create broad understanding of how a holistic approach to sustainable growth can benefit both the apparel industry and the environment, and also to increase consumer awareness of the contributions they can make through thoughtful garment purchase and use."



Error processing SSI file