"The new fibre that we have developed is both sustainable and produced at a lower cost."
Finnish pulp and paper specialist Stora Enso has announced that it is going into partnership with furniture company Ikea and fashion giant H&M to create sustainable textiles. Stora Enso will be joining the joint venture called “TreetoTextile”, which has been in operation since 2014. It is also backed by entrepreneur Lars Stigsson.
TreetoTextile’s process involves regenerating renewable forest raw material into a textile fibre, using less energy and chemicals than conventional methods.
The technology has been tested in a pilot line in Sweden and is now to be scaled up with the construction of a demonstration plant at one of Stora Enso’s (@storaenso) Nordic facilities.
IKEA and H&M plan to use the fibre in their products. However, the main aim is for the entire industry to benefit from this fibre since it can be used in conventional supply chains.
Commenting on Stora Enso joining the initiative, Annica Karlsson, chairman of the board, TreeToTextile, said: “With the help of our new partner, we will be entering an industrialisation phase. The new fibre that we have developed is both sustainable and produced at a lower cost.”
In a statement, Stora Enso said it welcomed the chance to join the TreetoTextile partnership and to “contribute to a more sustainable textile production”.
“Stora Enso produces dissolving pulp for textiles based on renewable and fully traceable wood from sustainably-managed forests. It will be exciting to participate in the industrialisation of this technology at one of our facilities to meet growing demand,” said Markus Mannström, Executive Vice President of the Stora Enso Biomaterials division.
“We welcome Stora Enso to this partnership. For us, TreeToTextile is a long-term investment as we strongly believe it will contribute to offering our customers even more sustainably-produced products at affordable prices,” said Erik Karlsson, Investment Manager for Sustainable Fashion at H&M group’s (@hm) investment arm.
The news of the TreetoTextile project comes at a time when many fashion houses are putting sustainability at the heart of their business agendas. H&M has set a goal to only use recycled or other sustainably-sourced materials by 2030.
“With Stora Enso as a partner we now add industrial knowledge and deep competence within the cellulose field. This together with existing consumer and textile knowledge as well as an entrepreneurial spirit brings us one step closer to our goal of introducing a new sustainable low-cost fibre for the many people,” added Lena Julle, Category Area Manager Textiles at IKEA of Sweden (@IKEASverige).