I know what you might think; FAQs are useless and no-one ever reads them. Well, our questions and answers are the real deal; cleverly asked questions we’ve been asked, and answers that you will probably not find anywhere else, so check this out!
What do you anticipate your pricing will look like and what is your plan to make this material affordable to the everyday consumer?
– Our plan is definitely to make this affordable to anyone, but in this pre-commercial phase it’s a bit too early to say when that will be and what the price range is. The price will be competitive once the fibre is produced in big volumes, and that’s a few years away.
How do you plan to make your material competitive with synthetic fibers?
– We will not try to compete with synthetics with price nor performance. It’s the consumer demand for sustainable, natural materials that will be appealing, maybe even justify a price premium at first compared to synthetics (that more and more people will hopefully want to avoid). Our fibre can probably best replace cotton.
Do you intend on shifting from wood pulp as a primary input to a waste product such as potato peels, wheat straw or recycled cotton clothing? How far away from being feasible is this technology?
– The wood based development is furthest along and will be the first product we commercialize. We have no intention to shift away from it, but we have several potential raw material verticals up and coming. There is no technical reason to stand in the way of waste based developments, but industrial scaling often takes a long time. All our raw material sourcing and industrial scaling in collaboration with the raw material supplier.
What’s worth pointing out here is that the technology is the same regardless of the raw material, so no further technology development is needed before we can utilize waste based biomaterials. It would be ideal if we could take a waste that contributes to climate change and use it for a value-added product.
Around how much wood pulp does it take to produce your material per unit? How would this differ in the pivot to recycled clothing items or agricultural waste?
– The yield from pulp is about 60%, and in our process it’s 100%; what comes in, goes out. Compared to dissolving pulp, which is the raw material of most cellulosic fibres, the yield is 20%, as the hemicellulose and lignin is ”cooked” out of the raw material. In the waste based raw materials, it’s a bit too early to say for now, but in terms of clothing waste we can probably only utilize just pure cotton.
Your Bergans product concept is fully circular – what does that mean exactly? How many times can the fibre be recycled?
– This is, actually, quite a new but nonetheless disruptive finding that we made in this product development collaboration. It means that the backpack, or any other future product like it, can be taken back post-consumer, ground back into micro fibrils without even dismantling the product, and made into new fibre, thread and fabric. As we only found this out at the end of last year, we are still making further trials to see how many times this can be repeated.
The most unbelievable, yet true, finding here has been that the fibre does not lose quality when upcycled – actually, the quality of the fibre improves in the process. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities for the Spinnova fibre and the entire textile industry!
We love getting good questions that challenge us and help us communicate the kind of things that interest our followers the most – so keep them coming!
Stay sustained <3