Biosynthetics are made from natural, renewable resources.

colorful bubbles seen on a microscope slide.

About

Biosynthetics have performance and technical qualities that make them an effective replacement for traditional synthetics. They can be wholly or partly derived from natural, renewable sources such as corn, sugar beet, sugarcane, wheat, and more, and can be a more climate-friendly alternative to their fossil-based counterparts. For this reason, they’re attracting a lot of interest across the fashion and textile industry.

Challenges

Feedstocks must be sourced and managed responsibly.

Biosynthetics have a lot of potential. But we need to consider them carefully if they’re to have a positive impact on people and the planet without having a negative effect elsewhere. There are some concerns around their impact on food security, deforestation, and microfiber shedding, as well as the use of GMOs and circularity.

bundled sugarcane.
Solutions

We’re taking a holistic view of biosynthetics.

We’re supporting the fashion and textiles industry in switching to fibers and materials that have better environmental and social outcomes than their conventional alternatives. To push for progress in biosynthetics, we not only need bold goals, investment, and action, but a global approach to measuring sustainability. We’ve got to understand the impact that different crops or their residues have in their regional contexts and manage them responsibly. That said, biosynthetics can still be a key part of the industry’s journey towards a regenerative and circular future.

closeup of test tubes.
Resources

Dive deeper into biosynthetics production

Get Involved

Take the next steps in your sourcing journey

Sign up for our Biosynthetics Round Table

Help to build and improve industry knowledge and understanding of biosynthetic materials.

Join the Biosynthetics Round Table
Materials Production Dashboard

Get the latest data

You can access our latest data on production volume for biosynthetics in our Materials Production Dashboard.

lab flasks with liquid.
spool of thread.
Supplier Spotlight

Kintra Fibers is a materials science company that makes compostable biosynthetic resin and yarns for the apparel industry.

Find the answers to common questions about biosynthetics

If you have a question, get in touch with us directly, and we’ll be happy to answer it for you.

Other Synthetic Fibers

Polyester is the most widely used fiber worldwide.

Nylon is a popular performance fiber.

Other commonly used synthetics include elastane, polypropylene, polyurethane, and acrylic.