Julien Born, CEO of The LYCRA Company | Photo courtesy of LYCRA
Christian Chensvold, contributing writer | Thursday, August 4, 2022
When it comes to wearing clothes, one of the highest virtues is simplicity. When it comes to making them, it’s efficiency. And now the LYCRA Companythe global textile giant, plans to make this much easier for designers through a new partnership with brown clothes, a pioneer in 3D software for the apparel industry. The announcement came in July and is part of LYCRA’s new commitment to innovation in the wake of troubling times that have nothing to do with a global pandemic.
In 2019, LYCRA was taken over by a major debt-ridden Chinese company and things didn’t go well. The company’s creditors swapped debt for equity, acquiring a majority stake in LYCRA but with little understanding of the pioneering company. LYCRA was recently taken over by a new, seemingly more altruistic group of investors who hope to find a real buyer in the next few years for the company, which employs 3,000 people worldwide and generates around $1 billion in annual revenue. .
“It’s been a tough time as myself and the management team have taken a lot on our shoulders,” said Julien Born, who was named CEO of LYCRA in April 2021 after serving with the company since 2007. “There were concerns about us from suppliers and customers because of all the uncertainty. But in the end, we see it all as a positive and have been able to define a pretty strong vision for our business, which is to emphasize what differentiates us from other textile companies.
This includes being a multi-faceted and truly global company with a variety of business networks and a research and development department producing constant innovations that have resulted in over 800 patents to date. The Chinese owners didn’t see the uniqueness of LYCRA and tried to make it just another textile manufacturer, Born says.
“And at the end of the day, we are a company with an excellent manufacturing experience. But most of our competitors are Asian and not much differentiation in value, whereas we are more of a solution provider for retailers and brands, and the LYCRA brand itself is probably one of the two largest textile brand franchises. recognized, 80% known. to 90% of the consumers concerned. »
LYCRA is also more than a little familiar to designers, pattern makers and fabric makers, who are always looking for ways to increase efficiency in the design process only to find that many solutions are labor intensive and unsustainable. New partnership with Browzwear will allow customers to digitally create activewear, jeans, swimwear, ready-to-wear and intimate apparel that includes LYCRA fibers and can come directly from any of 15 factories world.
“Browzwear has a very interesting software that more and more retailers are using because of its very realistic visualization of clothing,” Born said. LYCRA will be integrated into the platform with a special section where designers can choose from an extensive library of certified fabrics to create avatars. “From there, the collaboration will evolve into more sharing of knowledge and things that we can develop together to combine our science of fit with their science of 3D visualization,” Born added. “The genesis of this relationship is our desire to leverage our global presence and reach across the value chain and deliver through a digital platform in a way that will appeal to small retailers and brands as well. only to the older ones.”
Creating digital apparel through Browzwear streamlines the production process and reduces the need for sample making, saving time and reducing waste for more efficient and sustainable operations. When paired with fibers designed to increase the durability and lifespan of garments, says LYCRA, the partnership will have an outsized impact on improving the fashion industry’s sustainability efforts.
Founded in 1999, Browzwear is a pioneer in digital solutions for the fashion industry. For technical designers and pattern makers, Browzwear quickly tailors graded garments with accurate and faithful reproduction of materials, while Browzwear’s Tech Pack provides makers with the tools they need to produce perfect physical garments the first time and at every stage, from design to production. The goal is to help apparel companies sell more while manufacturing less, thereby increasing ecological and economic sustainability.
“We are excited to partner with LYCRA and enable our users to leverage its well-known performance fibers to better integrate them into designs faster, easier and more sustainably,” said Avihay Feld, co- founder and CEO of Browzwear. “We believe this partnership will have a positive impact on the entire industry by helping brands and retailers establish a more sustainable and efficient development process.”
The partnership also reinforces LYCRA’s commitment to sustainable practices, which includes offering a variety of fiber and fabric solutions that reduce or divert waste and keep materials in use longer. Creating digital apparel through Browzwear will streamline the production process and reduce the need for sample making. “Innovation is in our DNA, and we are constantly looking for new ways to create value for our factory customers, our brands and our retail partners,” Born said. “Digital transformation and sustainability offer opportunities, but also expand our approach to innovation, as rapid and meaningful advances in these areas cannot be achieved alone.
“By partnering with Browzwear, we are taking an important step in this direction,” Born continued, “with the goal of ultimately changing how the apparel industry will digitally engage and interact to optimize fabric sourcing. high quality that extend the garment life and reduce the need for samples.