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lululemon, Samsara say new recycled polyester jacket is a world first

Manufacturing News

Plastic recycling startup Samsara Eco has announced the next step in its partnership with athletic clothing brand lululemon, launching their first product containing “enzymatically recycled polyester” on Thursday.

According to a statement from the pair, a limited edition Packable Anorak jacket by lululemon contains “a variety of inputs, including mixed plastic waste, lululemon apparel at the end-of-life stage, and converted carbon emissions.” The claimed world first is available for online purchase in Australia, the US and Canada, and contains material from Samsara’s Mitchell, Canberra plant.

Samsara also debuted a new trademark for its process – “EosEco” – which it says is patent pending and uses a “combination of biophysics, chemistry, biology and computer science (including AI) to create plastic-eating enzymes” which convert plastics into monomers for reuse.

“We’re committed to maintaining a low carbon footprint during our EosEco enzymatic recycling process. We have optimised enzymes to efficiently recycle PET, polyester and nylon 6,6 at scale,” said Paul Riley, Samsara’s CEO and founder. 

“But there are other plastics that need to be recycled, including soft plastics and mixed plastics. Our process has the potential to be used within existing cross-sector supply chains across industries like fashion, automotive and electronics.”

Samsara, which was part of @AuManufacturing’s Australia’s 50 Most Innovative Manufacturers list last year, said that polyester is the most widely used fibre worldwide. 

The material represents about 80 per cent of the synthetic fibre market and over 63 million tonnes made each year, it said, though the vast majority of discarded polyester items “end up in landfills, incinerated or are leaked into the environment.”

The two companies announced a “multi-year collaboration” in May 2023. This February they debuted samples of their first product, the Swiftly Tech Long-Sleeve Top, made of more than 90 per cent recycled nylon.

Lululemon was announced as an investor in the company last year (the size of their stake was not disclosed) following Samsara’s $54 million Series A round in 2022. Other investors include Main Sequence, Woolworths Group’s venture capital arm W23, and Virescent Ventures.

Samsara was officially launched in 2021, and is an Australian National University spinout.



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