Lululemon Athletica is collaborating with sustainable materials firm Genomatica to develop a reduced impact, plant-based nylon for their clothing.
The bio-based polymer has the same molecular structure as nylon and so would not be biodegradable, but it would lessen the company’s dependency on fossil fuels by replacing the traditional nylon used in its sportswear.
Genomatica employs biotechnology and fermentation to transform plant-based materials into chemical building blocks that may then be processed into pellets and threads to produce nylon.
Genomatica and Lululemon’s partnership is aimed at the beginning of life by using Genomatica’s technology to make widely used chemicals – like those used to make nylon – from plant-based resources instead of crude oil. The company hopes to make 100 per cent of its products with sustainable materials by 2030. Last month, it announced a partnership with biotech startup LanzaTech to create the world’s first fabric made from captured algae.