Circular fashion and textile technology group Infinited Fiber Company is looking for a location in Finland to build a flagship factory to produce its unique, regenerated textile fibers for the global market. Infinited Fiber Company will decide on the location by September.
“This marks an exciting next phase for Infinited Fiber Company. We are seeing great demand for our circular Infinna™ textile fiber from global fashion brands. Setting up our own plant is a response to this demand. While technology licensing remains central to our long-term business strategy, this plant will speed up the availability of Infinna to the global fashion and textile market in the short- to medium-term,” said Infinited Fiber Company Cofounder and CEO Petri Alava.
Infinited Fiber Company’s technology turns cellulose-based raw materials, like cotton-rich textiles, used cardboard, or rice or wheat straw, into Infinna, a unique, premium textile fiber with the natural, soft look and feel of cotton. Infinited Fiber Company currently operates pilot facilities in the cities of Espoo and Valkeakoski, Finland, with a combined nominal capacity of 150 metric tons/annum. The planned flagship factory will have an annual capacity of 30,000 metric tons/annum and will use post-consumer textile waste as feedstock.
“Finland has a long history of cellulose-based industries, excellent engineering capabilities and a strong drive to become a leader in circularity. We are currently considering several potential locations across Finland where the existing infrastructure is supportive of our plans,” Alava said.
The plant’s entire output is intended for export. Infinited Fiber Company is currently negotiating offtake agreements with several global fashion and textile brands and believes agreements will be in place before the end of 2021, securing the factory’s entire output capacity for several years.
The total investments for setting up the flagship plant are estimated at around 220 million euros. Infinited Fiber Company expects its currently ongoing evaluation into financing options for the plant to be completed soon. The plant is expected to be operational in 2024.
International technology group ANDRITZ will be a key supplier of the process equipment for the new plant.
“We are thrilled to work together with Infinited Fiber to create new, bio-based fibers for textiles from waste! We at ANDRITZ see the recycling of textile waste as a new, very interesting application area for our equipment. Our versatile product portfolio has the suitable equipment for the mechanical and chemical treatment of textile waste. As a leading supplier to the pulp and paper industry, ANDRITZ can deliver large entities for our customers. Textile waste recycling is becoming mandatory in the EU from 2025 and we are keen to be involved in developing new bio-based fibers from textile waste and also from other cellulose-based materials,” says Kari Tuominen, president and CEO of ANDRITZ Oy.
Finnish waste management company Lounais-Suomen Jätehuolto Oy (LSJH), which is owned by 17 municipalities in South-West Finland, will supply raw material to Infinited Fiber Company’s flagship plant from the full-scale textile waste refinement plant it is preparing in the Turku region of Finland. LSJH’s plant will process all the end-of-life textiles of Finnish households in cooperation with other municipality-owned waste management companies.
“We sort the post-consumer textiles by material into various fiber classes using optical identification technology developed by LSJH and its partners. This ensures the quality of the raw material and the resulting fiber products. To create a sustainable value chain for textile recycling, we are happy to have an innovative business partner like Infinited Fiber Company to process the material further,” said Jukka Heikkilä, managing director for Lounais-Suomen Jätehuolto.
More than 92 million metric tons of textile waste is produced globally every year with much of it ending up in landfills or incinerators. At the same time, textile fiber demand is increasing, with Textile Exchange estimating the global textile fiber market to grow 30% to 146 million metric tons by 2030 from 111 million metric tons in 2019. Infinited Fiber Company’s circular fiber regeneration technology, which uses waste as its raw material, offers a solution both for capturing waste and reducing the industry’s burden on limited natural resources. Several major global fashion brands have made public commitments to using recycled textiles in their collections.