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Fortum and Spinnova present wheat straw-based clothing

16
Oct '19
Pic: Fortum
Pic: Fortum
Fortum, an energy company building new business options in the circular economy, together with sustainable fibre technology company Spinnova, has introduced the first prototype product made using wheat straw in production of highly sustainable textile fibre. At present they are showcasing the product at Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference in Vancouver.

The showpieces include a knitted t-shirt, a jacket and skirt made of woven fabric on organic cotton warp.

The prototype material is unique also due to its extremely low environmental impact from raw material extraction, processing and manufacture, verified by life-cycle analysis (LCA).

"We are very excited to present this revolutionary textile. Today, wheat straw is mostly discarded or even burned in the fields. As it can now be used in numerous textile applications, this opens up huge possibilities globally. This cooperation is a tangible step towards Fortum’s strategy to build options for significant new businesses that improve resource efficiency and provide smart solutions for a cleaner world. We would like to invite more key industry players to join us in this journey,” said Heli Antila, VP, Biobased solutions at Fortum.

"We are all very proud of this amazing collaborative accomplishment! This was a very fast journey from the first trials to real, appealing fabric materials. This shows that wheat straw-based fibre is well on its way to being a drop-in product of the most sustainable kind," said Spinnova’s CEO Janne Poranen.

The parties announced their partnership earlier this year after testing various biomasses. The showcased straw was first processed with highly sustainable fractionation technology, developed by Fortum’s associate company Chempolis Oy. Spinnova’s technology, presently in a piloting phase, turns microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) directly into fibre mechanically without any dissolving or harmful chemical processes. Fibres of the now showcased clothing were produced in Spinnova’s pilot facility in Finland, which also means that Spinnova’s technology can be applied to various biomasses without further technology development.

Fortum and Spinnova plan to establish sustainable fibre production in Fortum’s future biorefineries that will use residual biomasses such as agro waste. The biomass will be processed into materials for bioproducts of lignocellulosic origin, as well as cellulosic products. The refineries will be based on fractionation technology, enabling highly resource-efficient utilisation of wheat straw and resulting in significantly lower environmental impact compared to other processing technologies.

Spinnova is a Finnish, sustainable fibre company that develops ecological breakthrough technology for manufacturing cellulose-based textile fibre. Spinnova’s patented technology includes 0 per cent harmful chemicals and 0 per cent waste or side streams, making the fibre and the production method the most sustainable in the world. Spinnova’s raw material commitment is to only use FSC certified wood or waste streams. Spinnova’s objective is to globally commercialise the fibre products in collaboration with major textile brands.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (PC)


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