What if all textiles could be recycled?
The need for new sustainable solutions for the textile and clothing industry is urgent. One promising innovation is Ioncell, a new technology to produce high-quality textile fibres from ecologically sound materials. These could be renewable materials, like sustainably harvested wood; or recycled waste like old cotton, cardboard or even newspaper. The fibre production process is a closed-loop system, based on non-harmful chemicals. When recycling waste textiles, even the existing colours can be recycled for new products, thus saving water, chemicals, and energy used in the bleaching and dyeing processes.
Ioncell will be commercially available in a couple of years, depending on the successful up-scaling phase. It will be great material for clothing and interior textiles, as well as for various technical applications.
Marja Rissanen, research fellow
Sanna Hellsten, postdoc