Sustainability is a major focus for us here at Royal Robbins – earlier this week we discussed our partnership with bluesign® Technologies and our commitment to reducing the environmental impacts of textile manufacturing. We also talked about the first sustainability story in the outdoor industry – Nutcracker and the clean climbing revolution.
Today, let’s talk about our new favorite fiber – soft, durable Sorona®.
Sorona® is an eco-conscious, corn-based biopolymer that reduces energy consumption by 30-40% and greenhouse gas emissions by 55-60% compared to nylon production.
Performance? Oh yeah
Sorona® adds both softness and strength when it’s blended with other fibers. That’s why we love blending it with polyester and Merino wool, which can sometimes be a bit itchy or wear out easily. Sorona® has the inherent ability to heighten the performance aspects of the other fibers, and it dries very quickly.
Clothing with Sorona® feels better, performs better, and is better for the environment.
Sustainability during Production
Sorona® fibers are created by combining several monomers, starting with a corn-based monomer called Bio-PDO, which was developed by scientists over an intensive 10-year period.
Sorona® contains 37% annually renewable plant-based ingredients by weight. Sorona® polymer production uses 30% less non-renewable energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 63% compared to the production of an equal amount of nylon 6.
Why is Sorona® production so much more sustainable than nylon?
- In the factory, Sorona® fiber extrusion occurs at lower temperatures than other synthetic fibers.
- Sorona® dyes at the boiling point of water with no additional heat, pressure, or chemical carriers.
- No catalysts containing any heavy metals are used in the polymerization of Sorona®, and no additional chemical treatments for stain resistance are required, a benefit for manufacturers.
Sustainability at the Consumer Level
Not only does Sorona® have a lower environmental impact during production but its performance properties reduce energy use during the garment’s life cycle.
- Easy to wash in cold water – less energy use than hot water
- Dries extremely quick so it spends less time in the dryer
- Longevity to buy less stuff – Sorona® offers fade resistance, wrinkle release, and durability, all of which help contribute to the end-to-end sustainability story (and make fantastic travel clothing)
Royal Robbins and Sorona®
The Diablo collection, focusing on men’s shirts and women’s shirts, is designed to provide superior ventilation and performance on your hottest active day, whether it’s a hot, dry hike in the mountains or a humid day on water fishing.
We’ve blended traditional polyester with eco-conscious Sorona® to create a highly breathable fabric with strong moisture wicking and quick drying properties, and then further enhanced it with targeted perforations for extreme ventilation.
The sustainable Sorona® fibers give this fabric a soft hand, durability and a hint of stretch, making it ideal for outdoor adventure and active travel with its refined silhouettes.
The MerinoLux collection blends Sorona® with Merino wool to make a softer, stronger Merino baselayer (definitely de-Lux). No more itching, better shape retention, and the same temperature and moisture control that you want from Merino. It’s outdoor adventure gear, only better.
We’re thrilled about Sorona®, and we’re thrilled about the products we’ve created. Discover some new favorites for your next outdoor adventure here.
Find out more about sustainable Sorona® here.