What if we could create a more sustainable textile industry by imitating nature; how a spider produces its web? That question led us to invent a brand new way of making fibre. The future is in the making.
No dissolving, no harmful chemicals, close to zero water use and minimal CO2 emissions. The forward-thinking technology we have created is totally unique and futureproof.
We are physicists, so we focus on how matter behaves; in pulp's case, flows. This is why our method for developing pure, bio-based materials for the textile industry is totally unique. Using the technology we created, we only mechanically refine our pulp raw material, and transform that into spinning-ready fibre suspension without harmful chemistry. No dissolving, no regeneration. We are the only company in the world able to convert cellulose into textile fibre this sustainably.
Upon spinning into filament, the suspension flows through a unique nozzle at a high pressure. The right kind of extrusion causes the fibrils to rotate and align with the flow to create a natural textile fibre. The fibre is then simply dried and collected, ready for spinning into yarn.
One of our fibre’s unique features is that it can be upcycled in our process, again without dissolving or harmful chemicals. This means that in the future, a product can be taken back from the consumer by a brand we work with, delivered to our process and ground back into micro fibrils without even dismantling the product.
The upcycled fibre is just as good, if not better quality than the original fibre. It can be turned into new products without having to add fresh fibres at all. This is such a recent finding that we are still in the process making further trials with e.g. our brand partner Bergans, to see how many times this can be repeated. Picture: Bergans Future Labs.
Because of the way we process pulp, we can use almost any cellulosic biomass, grind that into micro fibrils and spin that into textile fibre. This requires no further technology development. Although wood is our spearhead raw material, we have also looked into leather waste, agricultural waste such as wheat straw, as well as cotton waste. Our leather waste based development (fibre pictured) with ECCO's sister company KT Trading is already a joint venture that is building a pilot production line for this in Finland.
Using waste feedstocks would not only create a value-added product, but also help solve some major environmental problems. For example in farming, stubble is often burned on-site, causing emissions and a health hazard. We all produce something like 10 kg of textile waste per year, and some 30% of that is cotton. Imagine if we could turn all of that volume into new fibre.
Safekeeping our invention is crucial. We currently have 37 international patents granted and 40+ more pending, in seven different patent classes that cover the most critical elements of our process.