Entering the cellulose renaissance

Janne Poranen

We like to source locally and where we can, support craftsmanship. So I called a local carpenter today, asking if I could order some tables he’s made us before. He remembered us from a few years back. Something he said was so apt.

He said: “That sure is a top industry now.” This senior gentleman used to work for a cellulose factory in Norway. “It’s taken Finns so much longer than the Norwegians to make good use of the cellulose”.

This is so true. We really are just entering the renaissance of cellulose, realizing it has huge processing degree potential beyond bulk cellulose, as significant as that’s been for the Finnish national economy. We now have new innovation on our hands and are figuring out what to do with it. How to turn that developing niche into a volume business.

Open to any cellulose

To us at Spinnova, this doesn’t even mean just using FSC certified wood as raw material, as we develop cellulose-based textile fibre – although commercializing this is our focus this year and beyond. We have also given e.g. agricultural waste streams a try, and it seems like a potential source of raw material. However, that’s all we know about that now, and we only have so much time and people. We have to focus and prioritize.

There’s a lot of both unresolved and classified aspects to the raw material; things we will look into as we go along, and things we can’t wait to tell everyone. How any of these materials and value chains will develop in the bigger picture is a mystery on a global scale. If (when) the market pull is there, and all parties’ purpose is sustainable, I don’t see how it could go wrong.

Only sustainable for us

To everyone following our business we can just say this: rest assured that our purpose will never change. We want to use our superpowers as scientists for the good of the planet. Our mission is providing the textile industry with the most sustainable fibre in the world, produced with minimal harm to the environment, at a reasonable cost.

It goes without saying that this only means sustainable raw materials now and always, be it any type of cellulose.

This really is a top industry now. And then some in the future.

Janne Poranen