W. L. Gore & Associates and Bionic Yarn, a material engineering company based in New York, have announced a collaboration to drive the development of a high-performance textiles made from traceable, recycled plastic. Gore said it recently made an equity investment in Bionic to help streamline its fiber supply chain and grow its operation in Costa Rica which is responsible for the recovery, processing and conversion of collected plastic debris into high-performance textiles and products.

A producer of textiles, polymers, and other materials made from recovered, recycled or regenerative sources, Bionic first made its name manufacturing high-grade yarns and fabrics using rescued marine and coastal plastic that would otherwise have been left to pollute the world’s oceans. Founded and headquartered in New York City, the company operates in Central America, North America, and Asia, and has established vertical supply chains worldwide. Bionic entered the market in 2009 with its patented HLX yarn construction, which ensured durability and a refined finish without sacrificing sustainability. Since then, the diversity of the company’s product line has grown and now includes different upcycled yarns as well as polymers and fabrics used in apparel, footwear, luggage, bags and household products.

Ed Rubin, new product development leader at Gore in the U.S., said that “while our initial efforts will focus on the development of a fully-traceable supply chain for high-performance textiles made from plastics collected from coastal communities, we also see potential in incorporating Bionic’s recycled polymers in other aspects of our diverse product portfolio.”

Gore has been working closely with Bionic over the past few years on product and infrastructure development. Gore and Bionic recently achieved an early milestone in the relationship with the recovery, processing and shipment of about ten tons of ocean and ocean-bound plastics for conversion into high-performance textiles and products. The ongoing relationship and equity investment from Gore are expected to further enable Bionic to advance its mission and expand into other coastal communities.

Photo: © Naja Bertolt Jensen on Unsplash