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Fibre-to-fibre is no longer pulp fiction

An innovator in fibre-to-fibre recycling has marked an important step in the commercialisation of its technology for cotton and cellulosic textile waste with the sale of dissolving pulp to an Asian viscose manufacturer.

‘As far as we’re aware, this is the first delivery of its kind in the world. A true breakthrough for us and for the fashion industry as a whole” says Mattias Jonsson, ceo at re:newcell.

A shipment of 20 tonnes of the company’s branded Circulose dissolving pulp was produced at its plant in Kristinehamn, Sweden. The pulp, made from both post-consumer and post-industrial cotton waste without any virgin material added, will be used to manufacture virgin quality viscose staple fibre for commercial retail fashion applications.

Industry sources indicate the price of the new recycled pulp is in line with the current market price for high quality viscose grade pulp.

Consumer shift

‘Fashion brands are catching up to a shift in consumer demand towards sustainable raw materials. That demand pull is now finally cascading back in the value chain to the fibre producers that we’re talking to,’ Jonsson says.
In January, Beyond Retro, a leading European vintage retailer, and parent company Bank and Vogue, established a partnership with re:newcell that will turn post-consumer denim into a new, recycled fibre at industrial scale. They plan to give new life to 90,000 pairs of secondhand jeans.

Award

In 2018, re:newcell was recognised as the Circular Initiative of the Year by the Swedish Recycling Industries’ Association and the Swedish Waste Management Association.

Ola Alterå, the ceo of the Swedish Climate Policy Council, presented the award, saying, ‘re:newcell has developed a unique process for chemical recycling of cellulosic based textiles. They have opened the world’s first industrial scale recycling plant of its kind in Kristinehamn.

Interest is massive from fashion industry players globally, and soon there will be garments made from the recycled materials on the market.’

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