Lenzing follows in the footsteps of eco apparel and footwear brand Allbirds by partnering with NFW (Natural Fiber Welding) on its Tencel-branded fibres that act as an alternative to NFW’s patented plant-based technology, Mirum.

The Mirum and Tencel team-up will be unveiled for the first time in Milan, Italy during the Lineapelle international leather expo, which runs from 21 to 23 February 2023.

The material class Mirum is described as unique and suitable for high-end accessories, clothing, footwear, automotive and household goods. Tencel Lyocell and Modal fibres are from sustainable wood sources and made using environmentally responsible processes.

The fibres can be identified, confirmed, and tracked using Lenzing’s fibre identification technology. This makes it possible to physically identify the source of fibre at various production stages. This allows full traceability of the fibre materials used in the manufacturing process.

Most leather substitutes rely on PU binders whereas, Mirum is composed entirely of natural rubber, plant and mineral colours, plant-based oils and waxes, and an all-natural fabric backing. It contains no plastic whatsoever. Although each Mirum recipe is original, the dedication to utilising only natural components remains constant.

Birgit Schnetzlinger, head of business development, functional wear and footwear, global textiles business at Lenzing AG said: “Tencel fibres used as backers not only increase the level of transparency and traceability of Mirum but also enhance comfort – and with a very low carbon footprint.

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“We are confident that the versatile material will be loved by supply chain partners and brands across footwear, fashion apparel, accessories, furniture, and even automotive industries.”

This new approach by NFW combines a diversity of natural ingredients like bio-based charcoal, clay, cork powder, rice hulls, coconut powder, recycled denim, or seaweed to develop colour or add visual interest.

Products made with Mirum can be recycled into new Mirum, while Tencel fibres are compostable and biodegradable, enabling complete circularity of its products.

Oihana Elizalde, vice president and general manager of Mirum at NFW said: “At NFW, we believe that plant matter is the only material that can scale to replace plastic. Since its inception, Mirum has been engineered to benefit our planet. By adding fabrics made of Tencel to Mirum, we can enhance material transparency and traceability, while guaranteeing comfort and great hand feel on the skin.

“We are thrilled to join hands with the Tencel brand and we will continue creating greener alternatives for the fashion industry.”

Lenzing recently promoted circularity in fashion with its partnership to Sweden-based pulp producer Södra