Post-consumer textiles and wood cellulose become new sustainable fibre

”It creates a pulp that is not only available on a large scale but offers brands a circular textile fibre,” Södra’s Johannes Bogren tells.
September 29, 2021

The global demand for a sustainable textile industry is high, with few realistic or long-term solutions available. The result is millions of tonnes of textile waste created every year. Well-established forestry company Södra is the largest cooperative of forest owners in Sweden, whose main product areas are sawn timber and pulp. Their new OnceMore initiative is the world’s first process for industrial-scale recycling of textile waste of blended fibres, made locally at a mill in southern Sweden. 

— We mix cellulose from post-consumer textiles — that would otherwise have been incinerated or put in landfill — with wood cellulose from our sustainable forestry operations, explains Johannes Bogren, Vice President of Södra Cell Bioproducts. It creates a pulp that is not only available on a large scale but offers brands a circular textile fibre. 

One key requirement has been to increase the percentage of the added recycled textiles. One milestone was the recently reached share of 20 %, but Södra’s not stopping now, aiming for the target of 50 %. 

— The value chain of the fashion and textile industries has traditionally been linear. It starts with raw materials and ends with waste. OnceMore challenges this linear process and makes it circular, allowing a sweater to become a sweater once more. The product has had a highly positive reception and the market is showing strong demand. We are following our roadmap, to increase capacity to 25,000 tonnes of textile waste that can be added to pulp production by 2025, which will require a number of additional investments in the mill, Bogren concludes. 

This is #18 on our list with 25 Innovations for better living from Scandinavian MIND Issue 2

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2. Unique Bio2 textile can make a change in our polluted world
3. Patented technology can turn the eyewear industry circular
4. Filtration technology saves you from hidden pollution at home
5. This Swedish collective launches line with skincare for objects
6. Powder to liquid wash can change personal care as we know it
7. This household product line cleans with all-natural sugar surfactants
8. Spinnova’s textile fibre might be the world’s most groundbreaking
9. Here’s how AI can be used to create your ultimate personal scent
10. Design brand Verk takes local production one — big — step further
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14. A green version of the super-material graphene transforms the industry
15. Groundbreaking recyling app teams up with the world’s leading brands
16. This Finnish eco-design brand’s toilet is made of wood
17. Cleantech scaleup aims to liberate the world from harmful energy
19. How charging members a small monthly fee challenges the linear retail industry
20. Private, well-designed zero distraction units can create better workplaces