Finnish sustainable fibre producer Spinnova has launched the first garment under its The Collection of Tomorrow concept, which aims to develop fully circular products using only renewable resources.

The Scandinavian workers shirt has been developed in collaboration with sustainable outdoor brand Bergans and Halley Stevensons, a British manufacturer and innovator in waxed cotton and weatherproofed fabrics.

It marks the first apparel quality, dyed and finished fabric Spinnova has introduced, and follows the prototype backpack introduced under The Collection of Tomorrow last year. 

The concept aims to circulate the same resource – Spinnova fibre – many times over, avoiding the creation of virgin materials. 

Spinnova’s process can use FCS-certified wood or cellulosic waste streams as the fibre’s raw material and, unlike other cellulose-based fibres, the firm says its method involves no dissolving, harmful chemicals or side streams. In addition, as the fibre’s chemical compound is the same as that of paper, it biodegrades quickly and sheds no microplastics.

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“The Collection of Tomorrow was started to explore the possibilities that lie in innovative technology and how it can take us closer to a fully circular consumption of textiles,” Spinnova says. “If you buy a Spinnova x Bergans shirt, you will also own a small part of the total amount of Spinnova material that exists in the world. The value of the product is therefore divided in two; one part is the value of the work done to shape the material into a garment, and the other part is the value of the circulating material itself. Right now, the material is shaped like a shirt but in the future, it can be upcycled and become a completely different product in the future.”

The three partners explain that their main focus has been the further development of 100% recyclable material, and stepping from the accessory category to apparel. The backpack introduced in November 2019 was an organic cotton blend, while the fabric of the shirt is a lyocell blend.

“The backpack was still a prototype and only available in a very small quantity because the total amount of Bergans x Spinnova material that existed at that time was very limited. If you wanted to buy one, you actually had to apply for it,” explains Johannes Flem, a product designer in Bergans’ innovation department, Bergans Future Labs.

“Now the fabric quantity is raised by 500%. There is no need for an application to buy the Scandinavian workers shirt, but you probably have to be quick to get hold of one.”

James Campbell, managing director of Halley Stevensons, adds: “Sustainable innovation is the lifeblood of our business, and it is a process we are very comfortable with. The opportunity to work together with like-mind businesses such as Spinnova and Bergans made perfect sense. Using our niche finishing methods, we aim to help develop a circular product that has both performance and comfortable wearer characteristics.”

The collaboration between Spinnova and Bergans began in summer 2018, with the firms announcing plans in September of last year for Bergans to produce outdoor gear from Spinnova’s fibre.