Industry leaders BESTSELLER, Inditex and Reformation have come together as a consortium to prototype Kintra’s materials in their product lines, driven by a shared goal to explore more sustainable materials and processes.
With a successful $8 million Series A funding round in December, Kintra Fibers is positioned to scale their resin and yarn production capacities in line with the volume demands of their brand partners. The funding was led by H&M Group, with participation from BESTSELLER Invest FWD, Fashion for Good, New York Ventures, TRE Ventures, Tech Council Ventures, FAB Ventures, and a selected group of angel investors from the fashion industry.
Kintra’s material has undergone yarn testing, which shows impressive strength and durability comparable to traditional polyester, while also being much softer. Additionally, the material possesses an inherent stretch quality, with yarn test results indicating a stretch recovery of 10-15%, resulting in a comfortable stretch. The team has tested these properties in various fabric constructions, including silk-like satin wovens, technical outerwear wovens, and knits produced using air-jet texturing and draw-texturing processes.
This blend of characteristics has additional environmental benefits since textile engineers generally require blending traditional polyester with cotton and spandex to achieve a soft, strong, and comfortable stretch material. Kintra’s mono-material construction provides all of these performance benefits, while also making recycling easier.
Kintra Fibers estimates its environmental impact by comparing its raw materials and resin production processes to traditional polyester, in doing so, they found that their resin production could result in a 95% reduction in GHG emissions, a 30% reduction in water usage, and a 20% reduction in energy consumption. The team anticipates even greater energy savings when it completes a full life cycle assessment, as its preliminary analysis did not include yarn spinning, dyeing, or finishing, for which Kintra uses a lower temperature than traditional polyester. Processing the material at lower temperatures could result in reduction of Scope 3 emissions in the manufacturing supply chain.
“Kintra’s solution aligns with both nature and existing industrial processes, empowering a transformation towards an industry that operates in harmony with the planet. By utilizing bio-based inputs and designing a biodegradable material from the outset, Kintra addresses the environmental impact caused by traditional polyester at every stage, from production to usage and end-of-life, providing a comprehensive solution for a truly circular fashion industry,” said Alissa Baier-Lentz, COO and Co-Founder of Kintra Fibers in a press release.