Buns of Corn: SkirtSports and Sorona


If you’ve been reading about textiles fashioned from corn or PLA (polylactic acid) you’ve probably been hearing plenty about Cargill’s NatureWorks Ingeo.* It is about to joined by a newish product, that we hinted at around a year ago, is soon to be seen in women’s sportswear. It’s Dupont’s Sorona, also made with a corn feedstock. Dupont figure that using a renewable compared to their usual fossil fuel based nylon reduces greenhouse gas emissions 60% and uses 40% less energy, equating to an annual energy savings equivalent to 36 million gallons (~136 million litres) of petrol/gasoline. Skirtsports plan to release a Green Skirt in a 40% bio-blend of Sorona in the northern spring of 2008. SkirtSports make athletic skirts for sports oriented women.

We understand that currently Sorona is currently only 37% renewably sourced by weight, with the remainder being derived of petrochemicals. Specifically TPA or terephthalic acid, which is also a key component in the product of the polyester or PET (polyethylene terephthalate). In lay terms then Sorona might be considered a hybrid corn/polyester fibre. The way Dupont sell it, it’s the new nylon, but heaps better. SkirtSports, via OR Green Steps.*Three years ago we observed the issues with genetically modified corn being used for Ingeo production. One way Cargill has employed to circumnavigate that concern is to offer business customers the option to ‘offset’ their order by ensuring an equal quantity of non GMO corn is added to the co-mingled corn feedstock stream. Nau use this methodology for their PLA products.

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