‘World First’ Facility to Recycle Old Jeans into Fresh Pulp : Swedish Firm to Build Demo Plant for High Quality Cotton Recycling Process

re:newcell cotton recycling. sweden
© re:newcell

Swedish textile recycling technology development firm, re:newcell, has started the construction of its demonstration facility to continue its development of a "completely new way" of recycling cotton.

At its Stockholm lab the company said that it has developed a technology that makes it possible to take waste from the textile industry and from it produce new pulp. Such pulp is known as dissolving pulp, and is today made from trees, for example, Lenzing, Södra or AdityaBirla.

Dissolving pulp is mainly used to manufacture textile fibre materials such as Viscose or Lyocell. The company said that before now it has not been possible to make new high quality textiles from recycled fabric.

However, re:newcell claimed that its new technology can recycle old textiles such as jeans or t-shirts into new textile pulp. The ‘re:newcell pulp’ can then used to produce new clothes.

Global Demand

The company noted that while global textile demand is currently some 90 million tonnes per year, natural materials such as cotton and viscose represent only about one third.

The remaining fibres were said to mainly be oil-based materials such as polyester, elastane and nylon.

However, according to re:newcell, being able to increase the amount of natural materials by extending the life of already available resources is a top priority both among consumers and among the big fashion companies.

Location Location Location

The technology has been in development since 2012. The company said that it now believes that the process has matured to such a degree that it is investing EUR 8 million to build an initial production line.

The new plant is located inside chemical firm, AkzoNobel’s, facility in ​​Kristinehamn, Sweden, and is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2017.

"Kristinehamn is located in the Paper Province in Värmland and gives us access to great skills when it comes to resource-efficient mass production,” commented the company's chairman Malcolm Norlin.

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