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Finding new and innovative sustainable fibers – a matter of cooperation

Suominen’s vision is to be the frontrunner in nonwovens innovation and sustainability. Suominen’s current sustainable product portfolio consist a wide range of products and we are continuously developing new products to this portfolio. To be able to offer even more sustainable products to its customers in the future, the company is also cooperating with visionary start-ups that have the development of innovative sustainable fibers highest on their agenda.

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 73% of clothing is landfilled or burned – and more than half of fast fashion production is disposed of in under a year. This, together with a very low rate (less than 1%) of recycling, leads to expanding pressure on resources. Moreover, the prevalent “take-make-dispose” approach is both wasteful and polluting.

Some visionary companies have started developing technologies that could enable the use of textile waste to generate fibers with excellent performance for the textile and nonwoven industries. One such company is the Finnish Infinited Fiber Company.

From textile waste to new natural fiber

Infinited Fiber Company’s patented technology enables any cellulose-rich material – including textile waste, used cardboard, straw, or wood – to be reborn as soft and natural textile fibers with unique characteristics, including extremely high dye uptake. The finished fibers are biodegradable as impurities, like plastic residues from polyester or elastane, are removed in the process. The fibers can also be re-recycled using the same technology without loss of quality.  Suominen is actively working with Infinited Fiber Company and has already made test runs with its fibers generated from textile waste.

“When thinking sustainable, the collaboration is the key. We need to think and do things differently and all the parties have to understand the big picture. To achieve this Suominen has been very lucky to work with new biotech companies, such as Infinited Fiber Company, and well-established companies with new ideas. Only together, we can turn ideas into innovations and make an impact on a global scale. There is still much work to be done, but we are on a right track to a bright future with several initiatives in the development pipeline.” says Miika Nikinmaa, Product Development Manager at Suominen.