Home / Knowledge / News / Apparel/Garments / Aalto University team designs sustainable gown

Aalto University team designs sustainable gown

Dec '18
Jenni Haukio (right), with President Sauli Niinistö, in the evening gown made of 100% birch-based Ioncell fabric. Courtesy: Alto University/Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva
Jenni Haukio (right), with President Sauli Niinistö, in the evening gown made of 100% birch-based Ioncell fabric. Courtesy: Alto University/Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva
Scientists at Aalto University have developed a sustainable process called Ioncell and used it to produce an evening gown from Finnish birch trees. Jenni Haukio, spouse of Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, donned the sustainable gown to begin the holiday season and mark the Nordic nation’s 101 years of independence at Helsinki’s Presidential Palace.

From fibre to yarn and fabric to final product, a diverse team of researchers, experts, and students made the gown a reality on Aalto University’s campus.

A process developed at Aalto University and the University of Helsinki, Ioncell aims to change the way clothes are made. It creates quality textile fibres from a range of raw materials, including wood, recycled newspaper or cardboard, and old cotton textiles. Unlike environmentally demanding cotton or viscose—the most common wood-derived fibre despite use of toxic chemicals in its production—Ioncell fibre is an ecological alternative that can also be recycled. It also makes an excellent material for clothing.

“Fabric made from Ioncell is soft to touch. It has a lovely sheen and falls beautifully. Most importantly, it’s an environmentally sustainable option,” says Pirjo Kääriäinen, professor of Practice at Aalto University.

The team comprising students and experts in wood processing, chemistry, engineering as well as textile and fashion design is currently producing small batches of trial fibres and materials, like those used in Jenni Haukio’s dress.

Finland’s long-held respect for nature and history of gender equality inspired the dress designers, part of Aalto’s internationally renowned fashion, clothing and textile design programme.

“In the design I’ve combined Finnish traditions while at the same time looking to the future. I took inspiration from strong Finnish women, who are represented in the dress’ minimalist features and clear lines. The dress is a promise of an even brighter future,” explains Emma Saarnio, who studies fashion and clothing design. She designed the dress with fabric carefully created by Helmi Liikanen, a student of textile design.

While Ioncell technology is still at the research stage, Haukio’s gown is not the first time Ioncell products have been seen at state events. French President Emmanuel Macron received an Ioncell scarf made of old blue jeans when he visited Aalto University in August 2018.

Plans are in motion to have an Ioncell pilot production line by 2020. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

Must ReadView All

Pic: Shutterstock

Textiles | On 8th Mar 2021

Vietnam-UK FTA triggers two-way trade

After a month of Vietnam signing a free trade agreement (FTA) with...

Pic: Shutterstock

Retail | On 8th Mar 2021

2021 may see record retail sales in US, economy hinges on virus: NRF

A wide array of economic indicators point toward potentially record...

Pic: Lund University

Textiles | On 8th Mar 2021

Swedish scientists convert cotton into sugar, to make textiles

In a major step towards recycling, scientists at Sweden’s Lund...

Interviews View All

Textile Industry, Head honchos

Textile Industry
Head honchos

The pandemic has reinstated need for organised retail spaces in Tier II...

Textile Industry, Head honchos

Textile Industry
Head honchos

Tech in fashion industry has hit acceleration button

Textile Industry, Head honchos

Textile Industry
Head honchos

Money never disappears-it just finds new opportunities

Ritu Oberoi,

Ritu Oberoi

Established in 2018, Forsarees is a socially driven business enterprise,...

Siddhant Sinha,

Siddhant Sinha

Set up by Pradeep Sinha, a graduate engineer from Manipal Institute of...

Shambhu Nath Jha,

Shambhu Nath Jha

Leading research and consulting firm Fact.MR recently launched a report on ...

Sanjay Raut, Garware Technical Fibres Ltd

Sanjay Raut
Garware Technical Fibres Ltd

Garware Technical Fibres Ltd (formerly Garware-Wall Ropes Ltd) is a...

Michael Jaenecke, Messe Frankfurt

Michael Jaenecke
Messe Frankfurt

From May 14 to 17, international exhibitors will present the entire...

Dave Rousse, INDA

Dave Rousse

INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, serves hundreds of ...

Sarah Denise Cordery, Sarah Denise Studio

Sarah Denise Cordery
Sarah Denise Studio

Manchester, England-based Sarah Denise Studio provides relevant fashion...

Niti Singhal, Twee In One

Niti Singhal
Twee In One

Best known for convertible clothing, Indian brand Twee In One by designer...

Sandeep Gonsalves & Sarah Gonsalves, Sarah & Sandeep

Sandeep Gonsalves & Sarah Gonsalves
Sarah & Sandeep

Established in 2012, Sarah & Sandeep is a luxury menswear label...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


Letter To Editor

(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies


Leave your Comments

March 2021

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

Advanced Search