On sportswear has launched its first apparel collection made from carbon emissions, called Pace Collection.
This is a significant moment in On sportwear’s journey to move away from petroleum-based resources by creating a new material called CleanCloud, made using carbon emissions as a raw material.
With CleanCloud, On wants to move the industry away from virgin fossil-based materials to reduce dependence on a finite resource. The Pace Collection apparel launch follows the announcement of the first-ever shoe made of carbon emissions, Cloudprime, in partnership with LanzaTech in September last year.
“The apparel Pace Collection is an additional step in our effort to move away from virgin fossil-based materials and offers a sneak peek into the future for the next generation of runners,” said Begüm Kürkçü, Global Head of ESG at On. “Our CleanCloud polyester is made of 20% recycled carbon emissions, replacing the same amount of virgin fossil-based materials and equally reducing carbon emissions by 20% compared to virgin polyester. This means less strain on the planet.”
On’s ambitions are high: The sports brand born in the Swiss Alps envisions a future where every On sportswear product is fossil-free and circular. CleanCloud is the result of five years of dedicated work, which began with finding the best possible partners. This collaborative approach is key to overcoming the challenges of developing this complex technology at a commercial scale.
“We are incredibly proud that after introducing the first-ever shoe made from carbon emissions last year, we can now bring our CleanCloud technology to apparel,” said Caspar Coppetti, Co-Founder and Executive Co-Chairman of On. “This dream couldn’t become a reality without the collaboration of partners with the same uncompromising approach in finding innovations for a more sustainable future in the sportswear industry.”
CleanCloud is the result of a pioneering supply chain partnership with some of the most innovative companies in biochemicals, process, and material innovation, like LanzaTech. LanzaTech uses a combination of cutting-edge bio-technology, artificial intelligence, and innovations in mechanical and chemical engineering to manufacture chemicals using a process that recycles waste carbon rather than emitting it.
“Yesterday’s emissions are today’s apparel! There is enough carbon above ground to make nearly everything we need,” said Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech. “We are proud to be enabling the circular carbon economy by creating an ecosystem of likeminded partners, such as On.”
This is how it works: LanzaTech equips industrial facilities like steel mills with bioreactor hardware that captures carbon-rich gases at the source, before they can be released into the atmosphere. Inside the bioreactor, specially selected and naturally occurring bacteria consume the waste carbon to produce more sustainable versions of widely-used chemical building blocks through a proprietary fermentation process, that is similar to conventional alcohol production, e.g. beer brewing. In this case, ethanol was produced in the bioreactors, which was then dehydrated to become ethylene gas and turned into monoethylene glycol (MEG). Afterwards, the MEG is polymerized with purified terephthalic acid (PTA) into the final polyester. This polyester is extruded into a yarn engineered into On’s CleanCloud® apparel fabric.
The Pace Collection comprises eight apparel items, including the Pace Long-T, Pace-T, Pace Tank T, and Pace Shorts. The FW23 Pace Collection is a pre-launch with limited availability. It’s available online on www.on.com and at retail partners NetAPorter and Mr.Porter.