Finland to build world’s first factory producing regenerated fibre

New technology enables cotton-rich textile waste to be transformed into a new regenerated textile fibre. The factory, the first of its kind in the world, should be fully operational by 2025. [Shutterstock/NicoleTaklaPhotography]

Recycling and green transition took a step forward when a Finnish company announced its plans to build a factory re-using textile waste.

New technology enables cotton-rich textile waste to be transformed into a new regenerated textile fibre. The factory, the first of its kind in the world, should be fully operational by 2025.

The €400 million investment will occupy a closed and empty paper mill in Kemi on the northern shore of the Baltic Sea. According to the company press release, the annual fibre production capacity will be 30,000 metric tons, which would be enough for about 100 million t-shirts.

A Finnish consumer throws away roughly 13 kilos of clothes per year. However, since 2016 it has been forbidden to leave them at dumpsites, and they end up in normal rubbish bins.

Such reports are affecting the image of fashion companies. Consequently, the company behind the factory aims to attract the textile industry’s interest, hoping to shift towards circularity.

According to the company, the most concrete improvement comes from saving water. Producing one cotton T-shirt in a traditional method requires some 2,700 litres of clean water. The new technology should save up to 99% out of that amount.

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