HELSINKI, 25 February (Reuters) – Brazilian pulp group Suzano and Finnish cellulose fiber startup Spinnova will build a plant in Finland to produce sustainable textile fibers from wood and waste

The goal is to have commercial production capacities by the end of 2022, Spinnova managing director Janne Poranen told Reuters

The fashion industry is looking for sustainable alternatives to cotton, which requires a lot of water, and viscose, whose traditional production uses toxic chemicals and polyesters, which are blamed for pollutants such as microplastics

Spinnova developed its technology in collaboration with fashion companies such as Bestseller, Marimekko and Bergans. It was announced on Thursday that the world’s second largest fashion retailer, H&M, will also join as a brand partner

Its technology enables the production of textile fibers without the use of environmentally harmful solvents

“The fact that these fibers can be recycled again and again into a new fiber makes the fiber annoyingly circular,” it said

Poranen said he believed Spinnova’s method of production was the only one in the world that did not use any harmful chemicals at all to dissolve the material

This week a company belonging to the Finnish forest group Stora Enso, H&M and IKEA announced that it would build a demonstration plant in Sweden for another sustainable wood-based textile fiber

Suzano and Spinnova will set up their 20 million euros ($ 24 million) facility in Jyvaskyla, north of the Finnish capital Helsinki

The investment in the project would amount to around 50 million euros, including Suzano’s investment in the production of the raw material microfibrillated cellulose, said Spinnova

Poranen said in an interview it was possible to grow production quickly if demand for fiber increased, and said the technology could be used to make fiber from agricultural waste like wheat or barley straw

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Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/innovation-textiles-finland/suzano-and-spinnova-build-sustainable-textile-fibre-plant-in-finland-idUSL8N2KS121