Kelheim Fibres and Recycling Atelier Augsburg will collaborate on products made from sustainable and eco-friendly fibres that can be recycled.

“In new business development as well as fibre and application development, we follow the open innovation concept – the cooperation with the Recycling Atelier offers us an ideal platform for this. Here we work with partners to advance sustainability and performance,” explains Maik Thiel, project manager at Kelheim Fibres.

Kelheim Fibres points out that recycled cotton fibres are often very short or of uneven length, which makes further processing of 100% recycled material a challenge. This is where it says its speciality fibres come into play as it should enable the production of high-quality new products, such as nonwovens.

The aim for this collaboration is for the fibres provided by Kelheim Fibres to be made from recycled pulp, which it says will close the loop further.

Recycling Atelier Augsburg was founded by the Augsburg University of Applied Sciences in June 2022, together with its affiliate the Institut für Textiltechnik Augsburg and 12 partners from the German textile industry.

“As a model factory, the Recycling Atelier Augsburg combines the most important processes of textile recycling and offers holistic and comprehensive research along the value chain,” explains Georg Stegschuster, head of the Recycling Atelier Augsburg.

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The scientists aim to research all process steps of textile recycling from material analysis to sorting, preparation and textile processing to sustainable product design. Comprehensive data collection and the use of artificial intelligence as well as innovative materials play a central role.

Kelheim Fibres is a producer of high-quality viscose fibres, which consist of cellulose, the main component of the renewable raw material wood, and are used worldwide for products in areas such as hygiene, textiles, and technical applications.

In the Recycling Atelier, the focus is on the triad of technical and ecological sense as well as economic benefit. In this way, the partners of the Recycling Atelier are said to be standing up against fast fashion, outsourced corporate responsibility and a general decline in raw material quality, which it believes often fuel downcycling – the low-quality reuse – of materials.

Kelheim Fibres partnered with traceability platform TextileGenesis recently, to create more transparency in the textile supply chain through the use of blockchain technology.