News & Blog

Voice of the Expert: A Q&A with Arnaud Tandonnet

Apr 26, 2018

Global sustainability director Arnaud Tandonnet has been working on the LYCRA® brand for 30 years. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, he works tirelessly to promote Planet Agenda, the company’s sustainability initiative. LYCRA® CONNECT recently interviewed him to learn about LYCRA® T400® fiber with EcoMade Technology, the company’s latest innovation revolutionizing the denim segment.

Arnaud Tandonnet, Apparel West Technology Director and Global Sustainability Director, INVISTA Apparel & Advanced Textiles

Learn why you should choose LYCRA® T400® fiber with EcoMade Technology >

What is LYCRA® T400® fiber with EcoMade Technology?

It’s a unique type of stretch fiber that can be used to make fabrics with enhanced sustainability. It’s a bi-component polyester made from two different polymers that shrink differently when exposed to heat, creates a coil-like structure that allows it to stretch, but more importantly, it has excellent recovery. The fiber always wants to return back to its original shape, helping garment hold their shape.

What is EcoMade technology made from?

Sixty-eight percent of the fiber is made from sustainable materials including recycled plastic PET bottles diverted from landfills and bio-based plant materials derived from corn. SCS Global Services, the company that sets the standards for sustainability, has certified that this product is made from recycled materials.

Which denim concepts use this new fiber?

It can be used in place of the original LYCRA® T400® fiber in LYCRA® dualFX® technology, LYCRA® XFIT technology, and LYCRA® TOUGH MAX™ technologies.

How does it differ from the original LYCRA® T400® fiber?

It differs in the ingredients used to make it, but there is no change in performance or the benefits it delivers. Consumers can expect denim with excellent stretch and recovery, shape retention and a softer, smoother hand.

Why did INVISTA develop LYCRA® T400® fiber with EcoMade technology?

Our goal is to create long-term value for our customers and society by using resources more effectively and protecting the environment. We are continuously improving our products and processes in terms of resource consumption to meet our vision for sustainability called Planet Agenda. LYCRA® T400® fiber with EcoMade technology is just the latest example of this. Right now, the fashion industry is under pressure to reduce waste and is asking for more sustainable products. LYCRA® T400® fiber with EcoMade technology will help them make this commitment.

Jeans containing LYCRA® T400® EcoMade fiber from Prosperity, Soorty and Arvind. LYCRA® T400® fiber is made in part from recycled PET.  

(L to R) Jeans containing LYCRA® T400® EcoMade fiber from Prosperity, Soorty and Arvind. LYCRA® T400® fiber is made in part from recycled PET. Also shown with the jeans are the flakes, chips and fiber.

What are the goals of INVISTA’s Planet Agenda?

To achieve manufacturing excellence by continuing to evolve our technologies and processes in ways that minimize the environmental footprint of production plants. LYCRA® T400® with EcoMade technology fits under product sustainability pillar with a goal is to offer competitive products that meet the needs of apparel markets using fewer resources. The final goal is corporate responsibility, which protects the health and safety of our workers and the communities we serve and includes participation in local stewardship initiatives.

Why should members of the value chain adopt LYCRA® T400® fiber with EcoMade technology?

Mills will love that they won’t see any difference in processing this yarn compared to the original LYCRA® T400® fiber, but they’ll have the advantage of being able to offer a fabric made with sustainable raw materials. Brands and retailers will love being able to promote jeans with environmentally-friendly credentials to consumers who will see it as added value. Last, but not least, consumers can feel good about buying jeans that are more sustainable without sacrificing the performance benefits they love. This denim innovation can help any business in the value chain commit to making their processes and products more sustainable to meet new industry-adopted guidelines.

How long did it take to develop the new technology?

A little more than a year to go from the lab to commercialization.

When was it launched?

It was featured at Munich Fabric Start’s Keyhouse exhibit earlier this year as well as Shanghai Intertextile, and we are continuing the launch at the upcoming Kingpins Denim shows in Amsterdam, New York and Hong Kong.

What kind of feedback have you received so far?

We’re really excited about this product because the overall response has been truly positive. It’s been very well received by the customers who have seen it and worked with it. They love that it performs like the original LYCRA® T400® fiber, but it offers sustainability for added value and wider appeal.

Will the new product cost more than the original version?

We sourced new raw materials for this technology, so we had to develop a special supply chain. There will be a slight price premium because it costs us more to produce it, but the price per garment will be minimal, a few pennies per garment.

Are there any other INVISTA products that deliver sustainability benefits?

We offer a variety of products that will help our customers be more sustainable:

  • COOLMAX® EcoMade technology for denim is made from 97% recycled resources including plastic bottles once destined for landfills.
  • LYCRA® EASY SET technology produces less waste and offers our customers energy savings of 15-20% by reducing the heat-setting temperature. It works well combined with cotton and is used in lingerie, underwear and ready-to-wear apparel.
  • LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™ technology helps swimwear last longer and keeps it out of landfills, which makes a big impact on sustainability.
  • LYCRA® FUSION™ technology for hosiery also extends the wear life of a garment. It prevents holes or scratches from turning into runs or ladders so consumers can wear it longer.
  • LYCRA® T-162R BIO-BASED technology is derived from 70% dextrose (corn). First launched in 2014, it has all the quality and performance benefits of LYCRA® fiber and produced from 70% sustainable raw materials.

How does someone adopt LYCRA® T400® fiber with EcoMade technology for their collections?

We’ve introduced this concept to several mill partners who are producing it now. They should contact their supplier to ask for it or contact the INVISTA representative listed below to find their nearest supplier.

LYCRA® FUSION™, T400®, dualFX®, XTRA LIFE™ and TOUGH MAX™ are trademarks of INVISTA.

INVISTA Contacts

INVISTA Apparel & Advanced Textiles Arnaud TANDONNET Apparel West Technology Director and Global Sustainability Director +41 227704034 Geneva Switzerland