Zara has launched a limited line of black dresses made from carbon emissions.
To create the dresses they partnered with LanzaTech, a global leader in gas fermentation technology. The Chicago-based company captures carbon emissions and turns the pollution into ethanol, transforming them into polyester thread used to create the nylon.
This is the first clothing to come to market using LanzaTech’s technology, made from carbon waste. Earlier this year, LanzaTech announced a collaboration with lululemon. They also announced a partnership with On for their running shoes, and LanzaTech is working with Loreal and COTY, Unilever, and other global brands.
To make polyester fabric, you need MEG and PTA. LanzaTech makes MEG from ethanol (converting to ethylene oxide and then MEG) and together with PTA makes polyester. Today PTA comes from fossil inputs, but they can make 100% of the MEG from recycled carbon. The final PET contains 20% MEG (Monoethylene Glycol) made from recycled carbon emissions and 80% PTA (Purified Terephthalic Acid), so the garment has polyester made of 20% industrial carbon emissions.
The fashion industry is responsible for four to ten percent of global emissions and is the second biggest industry consumer of water.
The dresses are available for purchase on Zara.com but not sold in stores.