Co-operation and scaling up accelerating sustainable development of the textile industry

Jan 19, 2024

In January 2024, over 100 textile industry experts gathered to Helsinki, Finland for the Nordic Textile Fibre Day, exploring the latest developments in man-made cellulosic textile fibers and textile recycling. Organized first time this January by VTT, Kemira and Valmet, the event facilitated networking and encouraged open cooperation between Nordic sustainable textile fiber field.

Panel discussion at the Nordic Textile Fibre Day, hosted by Heli Kangas

Nordic Textile Fibre Day aims to align market needs with sustainable textile development for a more robust and eco-conscious industry. Participants were spanning the entire textile value chain, including raw material suppliers, manufacturers, research institutions and financiers.

During the wide program from keynote speeches to panel discussions from emerging textile innovations and other stakeholders, a few key aspects were addressed. Scaling up from pilot phase to industrial production, funding the investment and development and close co-operation between different companies and start-ups are seen essential to transform the textile industry towards more sustainable way of working. Legislation and governmental support are needed to back-up the development.

Valmet, as the experienced partner in fiber processing, innovation and in scaling up new technologies, is taking a strong role in the textile industry development. Using existing technologies for fiber cooking, and refining and automation, where the company has extensive know-how and industrial references, gives advantage for adapting new processes and equipment in different solutions. Recycling of cellulose fibers or the production of novel fibers from cellulose-based plants is very similar to the already existing pulp and recycled fiber production processes from the process technology perspective. This is where Valmet’s existing product portfolio, pilot facilities, investments in R&D and strong process knowledge fit very well with the big picture.

“Nordic Textile Fibre Day brought various stakeholders together to address common opportunities and challenges. I was especially impressed by the open and honest discussion by the participants”, says Ari Saario, who is leading Valmet´s textile fiber business accelerator and was one of the invited speakers at the event. “We at Valmet want to cooperate closely with the pioneers and key players in the field. We see novel cellulose-based textiles and fiber-to-fiber textile recycling as the solution to a more sustainable and circular textile industry“, Saario concludes.

Ari Saario, who is leading Valmet´s textile fiber business accelerator, was presenting about successful collaboration initiatives for textile industry from Valmet´s perspective.

Recycled and cellulose-based textile fibers is one of the five Business Accelerators at Valmet, a program with the aim of creating new business growth. R&D on textile recycling is part of Valmet’s Beyond Circularity program, partly funded by Business Finland.