Lululemon teams up with a sustainable innovator to create bio-nylon products

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Lululemon, an athleticwear retailer, has announced that it will partner with Genomatica. Genomatica is an innovator in sustainable material production.

The multi-year collaboration aims to bring bio-based materials into the athletic production chain. This partnership is Genomatica’s largest retail partner and Lululemon’s first equity investment in sustainable companies.

The future of bio-nylon Genomatica uses biotechnology and fermentation to convert plant-based ingredients into chemicals that are suitable for making nylon. Lululemon will assist it in bringing the bionylon into the supply chain for future collections.

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“Our partnership with and investment in Genomatica demonstrates our commitment to being a leader in creating products that help build a healthier future for ourselves, for our communities and for our planet,” said Lululemon CEO, Calvin McDonald, in a statement. “Genomatica’s biobased innovations and track record of success in commercial applications will allow us to achieve our Impact Agenda goals of making 100 percent of our products sustainable by 2030. This is a step towards a circular ecosystem.”

Lululemon Impact Agenda

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The Impact Agenda, released in 2020 by Lululemon, stated a commitment to social and environmental goals, including a number of multi-year strategies centred around a sustainable and healthy future. Lululemon is collaborating with Genomatica to honor this commitment and bring new raw materials to its collections.

“Replacing the petrochemicals that make up many popular materials with more sustainable alternatives is a major step forward in reaching our Impact Agenda goals,” said Patty Stapp, vice president and raw material manager at Lululemon. We will make a significant impact on the supply chain by switching to renewable nylon. Genomatica has delivered industry-changing bio-based products at commercial scale. We’ve seen Genomatica deliver these materials repeatedly, and we believe this partnership will change the way that we source products. While we continue to offer the outstanding quality for which we are well-known, we know Genomatica is capable of delivering them again and again.”

Most recently, the athleticwear brand partnered with LanzaTech to produce polyester using recycled carbon emissions. LanzaTech can gasify and ferment the products to create textiles from the carbon reclaimed. This allows for a more circular cycle of garment production.