Denise Sakuma, newly named global RTW and denim director, The Lycra Company, has just taken over Jean Hegedus’ position. Hegedus will continue working as sustainability director for the holding.
Previous to this role, Sakuma was The Lycra Company’s regional business director for South America for almost five years from Sao Paulo. Here, she explains some of the company’s next goals in denim under her leadership.
What will The Lycra Company’s denim division focus on under your guidance?
We will focus on sustainable and relevant to consumer innovations made from textiles. We already have a broad range of customer fabrics made with our Ecomade technology, including Lycra T400 and Coolmax fibers. The Ecomade versions of these products offer the same performance benefits as the standard fibers, while being made partly from recycled materials. Our latest innovation within this group is Coolmax Natural Touch technology, which uses a patented composite yarn structure to deliver enhanced moisture management and a natural appearance and hand.
What are the main pillars the denim division will focus on?
Offering the best quality, yet with performing sustainable products–from super stretch to super comfort. We will offer the science of comfort for every target audience–women, men, children and seniors, who all have different needs. Sustainability is one of the top three issues impacting our world today as a recent study showed. More than 50 % of those surveyed stated that they wanted to improve their footprint in the area of textile and apparel waste. Our Ecomade solutions will help our customers meet their consumers’ need for more sustainable apparel.
As part of our long-term commitment to sustainability and the company’s Planet Agenda platform, The Lycra Company is introducing Lycra Ecomade fiber. This new fiber is the company’s first branded elastane/spandex product made with pre-consumer recycled materials. It offers the same lasting comfort, fit and freedom of movement as the original Lycra fiber, but is made with waste collected at the company’s manufacturing sites and blended with virgin fiber at specific concentrations. This reduces waste and puts it back into production.
What is The Lycra Company expecting the denim market will focus on in the future?
Collaborations will be key. As we are a raw materials provider, and have a business model to work with each step of the chain, we need important actors of the value chain to work with us.
Sustainability will be the key focus also for the denim segment. A great milestone was already achieved earlier this year, when our latest sustainable offering, Lycra fiber 166L was awarded a Gold Level Material Health Certificate by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. So by specifying Lycra fiber 166L in denim and woven fabrics, mills, brands and retailers can be assured of transparency about the product’s ingredients.