The new fibre, HeiQ AeoniQ, is derived from third-generation cellulosic biopolymers and is advancing to pilot production prior to mass commercialisation.

Unlike conventional cellulosic fibre production which uses arable land during growth and has limited design versatility, HeiQ AeoniQ yarns are made out of cellulosic biopolymers that during growth bind carbon from the atmosphere while generating oxygen.

This high-performance yarn is positioned to potentially substitute synthetic filament yarns which constitute over 60% of global annual textile output of 108m metric tonnes. Further, when compared to conventional cellulosic products, the yarns do not draw on arable land, pesticides or fertiliser in their production, the company says.

HeiQ AeoniQ yarns are designed for cradle-to-cradle circularity and can be recycled repeatedly while maintaining consistent fibre quality. The manufacturing process is expected to consume 99% less water than cotton yarns and HeiQ AeoniQ is designed to offer comparable performance properties to polyester, nylon and conventional regenerated cellulose yarns.

The pilot production plant should start delivering the yarns in Q2 2022 and HeiQ is inviting a maximum of 20 sustainability-driven brand partners to be the first to market with products made of this yarn.

The Lycra Company has already joined as a primary apparel development partner.

HeiQ Group co-founder and CEO, Carlo Centonze states: “Climate change needs new inventions. By bringing HeiQ AeoniQ yarn to the textile industry, we will reduce our dependence on oil-based fibres, help decarbonise our planet and reduce the impact of the industry on climate change. Our yarn is a versatile alternative to polyester, nylon, and even conventional cellulosics and therefore has huge industry transformation potential. By wearing clothes made of HeiQ AeoniQ consumers can act in support of reducing C02 in our atmosphere. Adoption by billions of people offers potential to bind hundreds of millions of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. A battle worth the fight.”

Industry veteran Martin Gebert-Germ, who will join the newly-established HeiQ GmbH Austria as CEO and will be leading the HeiQ AeoniQ business from November 2021, adds: “This technology is the game-changer for the whole textile industry.”