Gap Inc.’s Athleta Advancing Circularity

Gap Inc.’s Athleta brand is taking a big step forward in its efforts to help preserve the environment.

Starting in 2026, Athleta plans to become the first performance apparel brand to use Cycora at scale. Cycora is a high-performance, regenerated polyester created from excess or waste textiles, otherwise known as “end-of-life” textiles. Cycora, a replacement for conventional polyester, advances circularity and reduces waste and emissions.

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Ambercycle, an eight-year-old Los Angeles-based company, creates Cycora through its molecular regeneration technology.

“As a mission-driven, B Corp.-certified brand, Athleta is committed to reducing our environmental footprint by using recycled materials like Cycora, which not only aligns with our values but also meets our uncompromising quality standards,” Athleta chief executive officer Chris Blakeslee said in a statement Tuesday. A B Corp.-certified company is one that meets high standards in social, transparency and environmental areas.

“As the demand for circular materials rises, we are delighted to collaborate with like-minded brands in the performance sector such as Athleta,” said Shay Sethi, CEO of Ambercycle, in a statement. “Together, we are not only creating high-quality garments but also driving forward the circular fashion movement.” In its statement, Ambercycle indicated that Cycora is the company’s first premium material solution made from end-of-life textiles.

Athleta’s styles integrate performance and technical features in such categories as yoga, training and running. Last February, Athleta launched its eight-piece Train collection geared for high-impact exercise such as cross-training and is rooted in Athleta’s new proprietary “PowerMove” fabric, which is 77 percent made of recycled polyester sourced from used plastic bottles. Executives claim the PowerMove fabric, with its interlock construction, has several features for better workouts, including supportive stretch and quick drying. The fabric breathes, and waistbands are designed with adhesive technology for better fit and so the clothes don’t shift on the body during exercise.

Ambercycle said its Cycora material has the quality of virgin-grade polyester, while reducing industry greenhouse gas emissions and dependency on landfilling or incinerating end-of-life textiles.

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