(THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY LENZING– ONE OF THE SOLUTION PROVIDERS FEATURED IN GLOBAL FASHION AGENDA’S INNOVATION FORUM)
Lenzing, a leading global supplier of wood-based specialty fibers, and Södra, a world-class producer of pulp, signed a cooperation agreement with the clear objective of making a decisive contribution to addressing the enormous textile waste challenges of the industry and the society. The cooperation involves the transfer of knowledge between the two companies, which have been proactively driving the circular economy issue for many years, and a joint process development followed by a capacity expansion for pulp from post-consumer waste. The goal is to process 25,000 tons of textile waste per year by 2025.
The fashion industry is one of the major polluting industries in the world. Millions of tons of textile waste are created each and every year, most of it ends up in landfills. In the spirit of the circular economy transition, both Lenzing and Södra have independently addressed the issue and developed appropriate solution options so far. Both companies are experts in their respective fields with many years of large-scale industrial experience.
Together, they give textile recycling a huge boost by developing technologies further towards a broader, industrial-scale use of post-consumer cellulosic waste. The jointly developed pulp OnceMore® will subsequently also be used as a raw material for the production of Lenzing’s TENCEL™ x REFIBRA™ branded specialty fibers.
“The cooperation with Södra is a major milestone towards achieving our ambitious climate and sustainability goals. We are proud to be able to go this way with a competent partner. One company alone cannot solve the pressing issue of textile waste. It is proactive partnerships like this that enable us to move forward and bring about real systemic change”, says Christian Skilich, Member of the Managing Board of Lenzing.
“With OnceMore® pulp, Södra has created a globally unique solution to base textile on a recycled source. By joining forces with Lenzing, we now taking the next step on our journey and will bring world-class recycling to the textile value chain. Through a new investment, we will also ten-fold our production capacity of OnceMore® pulp during 2022 and have a higher level of recycled textile content. These are important steps towards our long-term target to create a circular textile industry”, says Lotta Lyrå, President and CEO of Södra.
“In this turn around decade for our planet, making forest-based fabrics from recycled textiles is critical to protect biodiversity, alleviate pressure on forests and address the growing climate crisis. Canopy is excited to see these two major producers join forces to bring vital Next Generation Solutions to the fashion industry. We look forward to seeing greater commercial volumes come to market”, says Nicole Rycroft, Canopy’s Founder and Executive Director.
Two companies with bold visions and large-scale solutions for the reuse of waste
In line with its circular economy vision, “We give waste a new life. Every day”, Lenzing drives the industry towards a fully-fledged circular economy by striving to give waste a new life in all aspects of its core business and by codeveloping circular solutions with potential partners in and outside the current value chain. Lenzing has extensive knowledge in developing cutting-edge innovations in recycling such as its REFIBRA™ and Eco Cycle technologies. Besides virgin dissolving wood pulp, these technologies allow the processing of a substantial proportion of recycled materials based on pre-consumer cottons scraps and post-consumer garments.
OnceMore® by Södra is the world’s first process for industrial-scale recycling of textile waste of blended fibers, and it’s the forest who makes that possible. The process combines wood cellulose with textile waste to create a pure, high-quality dissolving pulp which can be used to produce new clothing and other textile products. During 2022, a new investment will ten-fold the production capacity of OnceMore® pulp and reach a higher level of recycled textile content. The goal for 2025 is to process 25,000 tons of textile and offer a OnceMore® pulp based on our wood material and 50 percent recycled textile material.