Chicago-based biotechnology company LanzaTech has partnered with Spanish fashion giant Inditex: the result was the design of a capsule collection for the retail group’s largest brand Zara which was released in December. The collection incorporated fabrics using LanzaTech’s CarbonSmart technology: a part of the fabrics is made with carbon emissions, avoiding their emission into the atmosphere.

LanzaTech’s biological process captures and converts steel mill emissions that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. LanzaTech recycles the emissions into Lanzanol (ethanol) through a fermentation process. The Lanzanol is then converted into low carbon monoethylene glycol by its partner company India Glycols Limited. The latter resource is then converted into low carbon polyester yarn by partner company Far Eastern New Century (FENC). This yarn has been used to make fabric for a Zara capsule collection of party dresses.

Zara dress
Photo: Zara
Zara dress
“LanzaTech has the technology that can help fashion brands and retailers limit their carbon impact. We are hugely excited about this collaboration with Inditex and Zara which brings fashion made from waste carbon emissions to the market,” said Jennifer Holmgren, CEO, LanzaTech.

This is not the first collaboration of the technology company in the fashion industry. Last summer, there was a collaboration with yogawear brand Lululemon to create yarn and fabric using recycled carbon emissions to convert ethanol to polyester.

Recycling carbon is a fundamental element of the circular economy, which will keep fossil carbon in the ground, reducing pollution and fossil fuel usage when used to make polyester. With a lower carbon footprint, this innovation could transform lululemon’s products and the apparel industry.

LanzaTech specializes in capturing carbon emissions from industrial facilities and converting the captured CO2 into low carbon fuels and materials, including sustainable aviation fuels and plastics. Beyond industrial emissions, LanzaTech converts different feedstocks including agricultural or household waste into ethanol through a fermentation process much like that of beer or wine, only using waste carbon from sugars and microbes, instead of yeast.



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