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15 / 04 / 2024
ROICA™ by Asahi Kasei and TENCEL™ by Lenzing AG Join Forces In Journey Towards Circular Economy
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15 / 04 / 2024
ROICA™ by Asahi Kasei and TENCEL™ by Lenzing AG Join Forces In Journey Towards Circular Economy

This pioneering like-minded partnership sets new benchmarks for sustainability, performance and design in textiles, offering a step forward in circular and responsibly produced next-generation materials to provide an innovative composition with creative opportunities; new fabric design, performance and quality, as well as end of life solutions.

A further step towards a Circular Economy for the textile industry has been made.
Two leading companies that have been investing in responsible innovation for years - ROICA™ by Asahi Kasei, a pioneer in premium stretch yarns, and TENCEL™ by Lenzing AG, a leader in wood-based cellulosic textile fibers - have announced a landmark partnership to introduce a new concept of sustainable and circular-driven textiles.

[MARCH 2024] – ROICA™ and TENCEL™ together after extensive years of R&D, are able to offer contemporary, responsible, quality, and performing fibers for a new generation of design, used across the collections of both partners; either fabric manufacturers or brands. ROICA™ continues to redefine the standards of contemporary fashion, intertwining elegance with responsible consciousness towards a future where fashion and sustainability coexist in harmony, with a focus on more sustainable stretch yarns that match the customer’s desires and needs. Clothes and fabrics made with ROICA™ V550 inside keep their shape and colour whilst also being highly eco-responsible. Lenzing AG, with its flagship brand for textiles; TENCEL™ Lyocell and TENCEL™ Modal, found in the collections of many leading designers and renowned brands and retailers, is able to offer fibers made from controlled or certified sourced natural raw material wood. The production processes of the fibers are refined to maximize resource efficiency and minimize environmental impact[1],[2].

The journey towards Circular Economy needed a further step and a vision shared by both partners as a core reason for the joint collaboration: to move quicker and to do better, ensuring an improved end of life to fabrics and garments. Indeed, what the two companies and their developments in the field of fibers have in common is not only the unique touch, comfort and performance, but the responsible environmental impact when it comes to the end of life of a material.

ROICA™ V550 is the world-first sustainable degradable yarn by Asahi Kasei. It partially degrades under ISO 14855-1 tested by OWS, decomposing into CO2 and water, and is also a world-first, Cradle to Cradle-Certified™ stretch (elastane) yarn with a Material Health Gold Level Certificate;

TENCEL™ fibers are made of raw material wood from controlled or certified wood sources. This natural origin has an impact on the environmental footprint of production, but it also has implications for the fibers’ end of life. Certified by TÜV AUSTRIA, TENCEL™ Lyocell and TENCEL™ Modal fibers are biodegradable in marine environments, fresh water and soil, and compostable under home and industrial conditions.

This partnership sets new benchmarks for sustainability, performance and design in textiles, aligning with global demands for environmentally responsible manufacturing, marking a significant advancement in textile technology and demonstrates the companies’ shared commitment to the circular economy bringing an innovative textile concept designed for the future. The collaboration between ROICA™ and TENCEL™ is a testament to the power of partnership in driving innovation and sustainability in the textile industry. It showcases a shared commitment to reducing environmental impact, enhancing fabric performance, and leading the way towards a more sustainable and circular future.

Mr. Shinohe Hiroaki, Chief Marketing Officer of ROICA Europe at Asahi Kasei, highlighted the importance of this collaboration: “By joining forces with Lenzing AG and integrating TENCEL™ fibers with our ROICA™ V550, we are not just creating textiles; we are crafting an additional choice for the future of sustainable fashion. Our combined efforts will lead to the development of fabrics that not only excel in performance and aesthetics but also significantly contribute to a more sustainable planet.”

Mr. Carlo Covini, Business Development Manager of textiles business, Italy & Switzerland at Lenzing, added: “This partnership embodies our shared vision of a more sustainable[1],[2] textile industry with the incorporation of TENCEL™ branded fibers. By leveraging the nature of TENCEL™ fibers, combined with ROICA™’s innovative stretch degradable technology, the collaboration will set a new standard in fashion by offering brands and consumers an alternative material choice that embodies performance and sustainability.”

In order to effectively implement the project, a roadshow series of leading fabric producers will offer to the market ready made solutions for each wardrobe application.

The first one will be BRUGNOLI, which will present a collection dedicated to yoga wear made with TENCEL™ fibers and ROICA™ at Performance Days, March 2024.

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[1] TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers are produced in a closed loop process which recovers 99.8% of the solvent – resulting in close-to-zero wastage. Compared to generic (unbranded) lyocell. Results based on LCA standards (ISO 14040/44) and available via Higg MSI (Version 3.7).

[2] The TENCEL™ Modal production process is based on a highly resource-efficient technology with high recovery rates of chemicals. According to the Higg Materials Sustainability Index (Higg MSI), TENCEL™ Modal has a significantly lower environmental impact than generic modal in the categories of abiotic depletion of fossil fuels (up to 68%), global warming (up to 71%), water consumption (up to 68%) and eutrophication (up to 35%). Results based on LCA standards (ISO 14040/44) and available via Higg MSI (Version 3.7).

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