Spinnova, Renewcell to commercialise textile waste fibres by 2025

Finnish fibre maker Spinnova has joined forces with Swedish textile recycling innovator Renewcell to develop and scale what they describe as a "first of its kind" textile waste-based fibre that can be spun into new fibre without harmful chemicals.

Shemona Safaya September 13 2023

Spinnova and Renewcell are introducing a new fibre production concept that combines patented technology from both companies and advances circularity in the fashion and textile industries with a commercial rollout expected by 2025.

Renewcell recycles cellulosic-rich textile waste such as cotton and viscose using a patented process, which transforms textile waste into a pulp product called circulose. The biodegradable raw material is produced from 100% recycled textiles and can be used to create new fibre.

The companies explain that until now circulose has been used to create man-made cellulosic fibres such as viscose. The inclusion of Spinnova's technology means circulose can now be turned into a new, biobased textile fibre without any harmful chemicals in the fibre spinning process.

The duo describe it as a big step towards addressing the industry’s growing textile waste problem while setting new standards for sustainable textile fibre production.

Spinnova says it has already conducted successful trials of spinning the circulose pulp into new textile fibre. The first batches of Spinnova fibre made with 100% circulose have been produced for yarn and fabric development, and the first prototypes contain a blend of cotton and circulose-based Spinnova fibre.

Spinnova’s deputy CEO Ben Selby is of the view that the fashion and textile industry needs new solutions and collaboration across its supply chain.

Selby says: "Our goal is to accelerate the fashion industry’s transition to a circular economy and explore options to scale textile-to-textile fibre production. Developing our partnership with the skilled Renewcell team has been a great pleasure and the first tests combining Renewcell’s material and Spinnova’s technology have been very promising."

Renewcell CEO Patrik Lundström adds: "The textile industry is in the middle of a massive change, when moving from a linear business model to a circular economy. Change requires new partnerships and brave, innovative players. Learning more about Spinnova’s technology has been really exciting and we can't wait to launch the first collection made from circulose using Spinnova’s unique fibre spinning technology."

Spinnova and Renewcell share they are currently assessing options to start scaling textile-to-textile fibre production with potential partners and expect to start developing the first consumer collection made from circulose-based Spinnova fibre.

The first consumer products made out of this collaboration are estimated to be available by the end of 2024.

Last month, Spinnova received a research and development (R&D) grant of up to €1.9m ($2.07m) from Business Finland to create fibres from waste.

The grant has been issued for the period 15 April 2023 to 14 April 2025 which will support 50% of the project’s total cost, estimated at €3.9m.

More recently, the Finnish fibre maker announced a strategic review after the appointment of Tuomas Oijala as CEO and confirmed an “expected” drop in half-year profit on the back of “ramping up joint venture operations and increased personnel costs.”

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