Renewcell has signed a ‘letter of intent’ with Eastman for a collaboration to develop a yarn sourced from Renewcell’s 100% recycled textile raw material Circulose.

Circulose is a branded dissolving pulp made from 100% textile waste, like worn-out clothes and production scraps. 

It is used by fibre producers to make staple fibre or filament viscose, lyocell, modal, acetate or other types of man-made cellulosic fibres. Those fibres are then spun into yarns, woven or knitted into fabrics and finally made into new high-quality textile products.

“Eastman considering Circulose as a feedstock in the production of a premium yarn like Naia Renew reflects very well on the Renewcell team’s ability to work with partners to adjust and optimise our product for new fibre applications,” said Patrik Lundström, CEO of Renewcell. “This agreement signals an acceleration of our joint efforts to bring Naia Renew ES yarns derived from Circulose to market. I look forward to working alongside Eastman in making fashion circular.”

In 2019, Eastman began commercial-scale molecular recycling for a broad set of waste plastics that would otherwise be landfilled or incinerated, or worse, end up in the environment. Eastman’s Advanced Circular Recycling technologies process waste derived from a variety of sources, including single-use plastics, textiles, and carpet. These technologies provide a true circular solution of endless recycling for materials, allowing them to be reused repeatedly.

Ruth Farell, general manager of Eastman Textiles, added: “We are thrilled to collaborate with a pioneeer such as Renewcell to lower our reliance on virgin feedstocks, redefine the essence of textile waste and close the loop within the textiles industry. This collaboration is at the heart of our strategy to launch a portfolio of products with increased recycled content.”

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This agreement is Renewcell’s first with a US-based fibre producer and an important step in developing the first acetate-based applications to use Circulose feedstock, says the organisation.

Earlier last week, Renewcell opened its first commercial-scale textile-to-textile pulp mill in Sundsvall, Sweden. The facility will repurpose over 120,000 metric tonnes of textile waste next year, otherwise destined for landfills, and turn it into new viscose for fashion.