Hyosung stretches Brazilian spandex production amid yoga pants boom
Hyosung TNC is doubling the size of its spandex factory in Brazil as the coronavirus pandemic drives up demand for the stretchy material.
The company announced Wednesday that it will invest a total of 40 billion won ($36 million) over the next year to increase the size of the Brazil plant from the current 12,000 tons a year to 22,000 tons.
The textile affiliate of the Hyosung chemical group has been the world leader in spandex production since 2010. It currently has a global market share of around 30 percent.
Hyosung TNC first built the Brazil plant in 2011 and, according to the company, currently accounts for 65 percent of the country's spandex market.
The expansion in Brazil is specifically targeting a rising demand for home wear and athleisure in the South American market, sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic.
While the global fashion market has been badly affected by the coronavirus, so-called comfort wear has gained popularity as more people stay home. Athleisure, as the name suggests, describes athletic clothes that are comfortable enough to be worn around the house, like yoga pants.
Spandex is one of the most widely used textiles for these kinds of clothing.
The expansion of the regional factory in Brazil was also motivated by the fact that importing spandex into the country to meet demand is expensive considering Brazil’s high tax rate on spandex imports, at 18 percent. This is double the spandex import rate in other countries, Hyosung said. The country also shares a border with 10 neighboring countries and is on the Atlantic Ocean, making it favorable as an export point.
Last month, Hyosung TNC announced that it was investing 60 billion won into a spandex factory in Turkey, likewise citing the necessity to meet the demand hike created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [email@example.com]