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Lycra Maker Joins Sustainable Apparel Coalition

Invista, a Koch Industries company and one of the world’s largest integrated producers of polymers and fibers, has joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and will provide data and resources to the group’s sustainability index.

Invista, which owns the Lycra and CoolMax brands, will also work with select partners to better understand the impact of the manufacturing process, garment performance and garment care and how these factors may be incorporated into its current materials assessment.

Invista is the second major company to join the SAC this month. Last week, ANN Inc., the parent company of Ann Taylor and LOFT, became the first women’s specialty retailer to join the SAC. The coalition, which was created in March 2011 by nearly 30 manufacturers and retailers including Nike, Target and Levi’s, now has more than 60 members.

In July, SAC members launched The Higg Index, an indicator-based sustainability measurement tool for apparel. The index allows clothing manufacturers and brands to evaluate material types, products, facilities and processes based on a range of environmental and product design choices.

The SAC has said it plans to release an updated version of the index this year to include footwear products and social and labor impact areas. The index eventually will be expanded to include quantitative metrics and feature an improved scoring method.

The tool already includes a materials sustainability index, a cradle-to-gate assessment tool to give designers and the global supply chain information on the environmental sustainability of materials.

Invista’s fiber manufacturing plant located in Seaford, Del., was an energy efficiency standout at Koch Industries’ Energy Leadership Conference held late last year. Employees were recognized for a more than 20 percent reduction in the site’s energy consumption during a two-year period.

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