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Dairen Chemical Corporation Joins The LYCRA Company and Qore ® in the Development of Renewable LYCRA ® fiber

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The LYCRA Company, a global leader in developing innovative, sustainable solutions for the apparel and personal care industries, announced today that it has signed a letter of intent with Dairen Chemical Corporation (DCC) to convert QIRA®—the next generation of 1,4 butanediol (BDO)—into low-impact PTMEG, the main ingredient in patented bio-derived LYCRA® fiber. Dairen will be the first company in the world to mass produce this low-impact bio-PTMEG at scale.

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Left to Right: Steve Stewart, chief brand and innovation officer, The LYCRA Company, and Shean-Tung Lin, Chairman, Dairen Chemical Corporation (DCC), sign a letter of intent for DCC to convert QIRA® into low-impact PTMEG for bio-derived LYCRA® fiber. (Photo: Business Wire)

In September 2022, The LYCRA Company and Qore® announced they were joining forces to enable the production of bio-derived LYCRA® fiber made with QIRA®. Now, DCC joins this distinctive collaboration, converting QIRA® into bio-PTMEG. This unique PTMEG will make up the renewable portion of LYCRA® fiber, accounting for 70% of the fiber’s content. It is being made exclusively for The LYCRA Company to its stringent specifications. With its low-impact allyl alcohol process, DCC has pioneered a technology that creates the lowest-impact PTMEG available, which is cleaner and has a lower carbon footprint than product produced with natural gas or coal.1

The LYCRA Company, Qore®, and DCC are united by a shared commitment to R&D, health and safety, sustainability, and conservation. To mark this event, Steve Stewart, The LYCRA Company’s chief brand and innovation officer, presented DCC with a Green Partner Award. The award acknowledges DCC’s ongoing sustainability efforts and commitment to creating low-impact products.

“Our collaboration heralds a brand-new era of environmentally conscious production activities, fueled by our shared commitment to reducing carbon footprints and developing world-leading eco-friendly solutions,” said DCC’s chairman, Lin Shean-Tung. “Sustainability is not merely a trend, but an imperative for the future of our planet. We are honored to receive the Green Partner Award and embark on this journey alongside The LYCRA Company, advancing sustainable practices in the industry.”

Available in early 2025, patented bio-derived LYCRA® fiber made with QIRA® will be the world’s first renewable spandex available on a large scale. By using annually renewable dent corn, an initial screening calculation indicates that the carbon footprint of LYCRA® fiber potentially could be reduced by up to 44 percent2 compared to LYCRA® fiber without bio-derived materials. Further, the fiber will offer equivalent performance to traditional LYCRA® fiber, making it an easy replacement for mills, brands and retailers.

“We are excited to collaborate with DCC to bring bio-derived LYCRA® fiber made with QIRA® to market and realize our shared vision for a more sustainable value chain,” said Stewart. “Given the combination of using bio-derived input from corn, plus conversion at a state-of-the-art QORE® facility run on wind power, and transformation to PTMEG using DCC’s low-impact process, we anticipate the potential for additional reductions as we go into production.”

For many years, Dairen has demonstrated its sustainability efforts in raw materials management, waste elimination, process enhancement, innovations, and more. It has also achieved significantly lower carbon emissions in its product offerings than its competition.

“Sustainability has evolved from fulfilling requirements to being a competitive advantage,” said Simon Chuang, vice president of global sourcing and procurement at The LYCRA Company. “We’re committed to selecting, promoting, and expanding our business with supply partners like DCC who embrace and drive meaningful sustainability efforts.”

Visit lycra.com/qira to learn more about bio-derived LYCRA® fiber made with QIRA®.

1Estimate from Cradle-to-Gate Screening PCF for a representative DAIREN PTMEG manufacturing facility, year 2023, prepared by DNV Business Assurance Co., Ltd.

2Estimate from Cradle-to-Gate Screening LCA for a representative LYCRA® fiber manufacturing facility, June 2022, prepared by Ramboll Americas Engineering Solutions, Inc.

About The LYCRA Company

The LYCRA Company innovates and produces fiber and technology solutions for the apparel and personal care industries and owns the leading consumer brands: LYCRA®, LYCRA HyFit®, LYCRA® T400®, COOLMAX®, THERMOLITE®, ELASPAN®, SUPPLEX® and TACTEL®. Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., The LYCRA Company is recognized worldwide for its sustainable products, technical expertise, and marketing support. The LYCRA Company focuses on adding value to its customers’ products by developing unique innovations designed to meet the consumer’s need for comfort and lasting performance. For more information, visit lycra.com.

About Qore® LLC

Formed through a joint venture by Cargill and HELM AG, Qore® helps leading brands replace fossil-based chemistries with bio-derived intermediates. At the heart of the joint venture is the production of QIRA®, the next-generation bio-derived 1,4-butanediol (BDO). Made biologically through the fermentation of plant-based sugars, QIRA® can save up to 86% of greenhouse gas emissions when replacing today’s widely used chemical intermediates made from traditional fossil sources. Bio-derived QIRA® can be used the same way as its fossil counterpart but with significantly better environmental performance. Qore® and QIRA® are trademarks of Qore® LLC. For more information and inquiries visit https://www.myqira.com/.

About Dairen Chemical Corporation (DCC)

Founded in 1979, DCC is a leading maker of acetyl and allyl chemicals. The company board has been chaired by Mr. Lin Shean-Tung since June 2019. DCC operates seven production sites in Asia and serves customers in more than one hundred countries. Major products include Vinyl Acetate Monomer, Vinyl Acetate Ethylene (VAE) Emulsion, VAE Redispersible Powder, Allyl Alcohol, 1,4-Butanediol and PTMEG. Headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, its productions sites are in Taiwan, China, Singapore and Malaysia. Under the leadership of Chairman Lin, DCC is expanding its international activities and enhancing its global presence.

LYCRA® is a trademark of The LYCRA Company.
QIRA® is a trademark of Qore®.

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Contact information

Karie J. Ford
Karie.J.Ford@lycra.com

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