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Unveiling of Ingeo® Fibers

From: ASAP


Hundreds of key players and influencers from the global textile industry were on hand to celebrate the unveiling of Ingeo®, a revolutionary new fibre brand concept. Ingeo® is based on a breakthrough technology that allows man-made fibres to be derived from annually renewable resources.

Ingeo®, pronounced "in-gee-o," is a brand that stands for a fundamental belief in choosing to make a difference to the world. The name literally means "ingredients from the earth."

"We were looking for a name that captured the essence of what our technology is about, who we are as a company, and our vision for a more sustainable future," said Tim Eynon general manager, fibres, Cargill Dow LLC. "Ingeo® captures this essence, but it also stands for so much more. It stands for humanity, nature and technology in balance and the right of every individual and company to choose to make a positive difference."

Ingeo® is the world's first man-made fibre derived from 100 percent annually renewable resources. It represents the start of a journey toward sustainability, where it is possible to meet the world's textile needs while helping limit the collective impact on the earth's natural resources. Ingeo® is also the first natural-based synthetic fibre to meet the performance requirements of traditional petroleum-based fibres. However, unlike many of today's synthetics, the raw material used to create Ingeo® can be re-grown every year. And, when products made from Ingeo® reach the end of their usefulness they will, under the right conditions, fully degrade into natural ingredients that add nutrition to the soil.

"Ingeo® holds a simple promise...performance for you, respect for all," Eynon continued. "The fibre has comparable performance characteristics to current synthetic fibres. Yet, it offers a better social solution and an environmentally responsible business system from raw material through end products. So, regardless of whether someone is a consumer or part of the textile supply chain, Ingeo® makes it easy to embrace change for the better."

Ingeo® is ideally suited for use in a range of apparel, carpet, fibrefill, non-woven, furnishings and industrial applications. Currently, more than 75 leading brand owners and manufacturers in each of these key segments are actively developing and introducing new products made from Ingeo®. Products made from Ingeo® are available today in stores across the United States, Europe and Japan. And a host of additional retail launches are planned throughout 2003 on five continents.

How It's Made:

The process to create Ingeo® essentially "harvests" the carbon plants remove from the air during photosynthesis. So, instead of using carbon from limited petroleum sources to make the base polymer (as all other synthetic fibres do), Ingeo® derives its carbon from an annually renewable resource, such as corn (maize).

To make Ingeo®, plant starches are broken down into natural plant sugars. The carbon and other elements in these natural sugars are then used to make a polymer, called NatureWorks(tm) PLA. The development and manufacturing of PLA polymer relies on basic fermentation and distillation as its core chemical process, followed by simple polymerization. Once the resin is converted into a fibre, it becomes Ingeo®.

The Natural Choice:

Ingeo® combines the most desired physical characteristics of natural fibres, such as wool, cotton and silk with those of conventional, petroleum-based synthetics. In addition, the fibres have environmental benefits that result from using renewable resources as their origin, including reduced CO2 emissions and less fossil fuel usage than incumbent materials (estimated at up to 50 percent reduction).

At the end of their useful life, products made from Ingeo®, will fully degrade in industrial compost systems, similar to cotton. Where composting is not an option, Ingeo® is compatible with standard waste disposal systems including recycling, landfill and incineration.

The power of the Ingeo® brand concept is remarkable and never ceases to amaze me," said Eynon. "The vision for Ingeo® extends far beyond the textile industry and represents a life-style that appeals to partners like the Buddha Bar and Ingo Maura. Visionary companies such as these see Ingeo® as an important statement of their belief in essentially helping change the world without changing it all."

Ingeo® is a new fibre brand concept based on the principles of sustainability - economic viability, social responsibility and environmental soundness. It represents the world's first man-made fibre derived from 100 percent annually renewable resources. The process to make Ingeo® is based on the fermentation of simple plant sugars to create a proprietary polymer that can then be spun into a fibre. Ingeo® is ideally suited for a range of textile products and applications where it competes with traditional fibres on a price and performance basis.


(tm)Trademarks of Cargill Dow LLC

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