Craghoppers and Lanzatech have combined to produce garments made in part from CO2 captured from waste, writes Mike Gormley.
Craghoppers and Lanzatech have combined to produce garments made in part from waste carbon dioxide; at a time when the world is trying to reduce CO2 here is a way of making good use of it.
CO2RENU (i.e. Carbon Dioxide Renew) is something very new and this article is really more a heads-up on the material that this fleece is made from, rather than a review the garment itself. This said, I took this fleece on my recent trip to Canada and Alaska where it proved to be a very useful part of my weight-limited quantity of clothes.
As a soft feel fleece, it proved to be both comfortable and cosy and was a good mid or top layer as conditions dictated. It is the sort of fleece that you can use day in and day out in many situations. Now back in the UK, and as the weather chills, I have found it comes out more and more often.
I have to say I still find it tricky to get my head around this being made in part from CO2. It’s a bit like trying to imagine water is made up of two gases. This fleece is the first of an initial small four item selection of garments made from CO2RENU and Craghoppers is on course to expand this range in the near future. The garments have a good range of colours as per normal in the Craghoppers range.
Craghoppers, founded in Yorkshire in 1965, have of late been using a significant amount of recycled plastic, predominately plastic bottles, to make many of their garments. Some of these I have reviewed in the past, but this is something new and innovative. Lanzatech already has three factories in production with more in progress, so we are likely to see more products made from reused CO2 in the close future. This can only be a good thing for a world that is trying to reduce carbon emissions, so using it as opposed to letting it go back to atmosphere just has to be a step in the right direction.
I’m no chemist so I have just copied the short section out of the info I have as to how the CO2RENU is derived from CO2 :-
- CO2 waste is captured from manufacturing factories such as steel mills.
- The captured CO2 is then fermented (in a process much like making beer) into liquid ethanol.
- The liquid ethanol is then polymerised into fibres, which becomes some of the polyester fibres that will be a part of your new CO2Renu fleece.
Sounds fairly straightforward but I am sure it is not really as simple as this. But, importantly, it works and I have been quite happy wearing the outcome of this process. In reality CO2RENU is about 30% recycled CO2 and the balance comes from recycled fabrics, so importantly the entire garment is made from 100% recycled materials. Therefore when you have eventually worn your fleece out it can go back and go through the recycle process again and become a new fleece once more. Sounds like a sensible plan to me.
I look forward to trying out the next items in the CO2RENU range which I will, of course, cover in this section in the future.
[images © Jean Gormley]