Nanollose, an innovative Australian company has developed a revolutionary plant-free viscose-rayon fibre product, which are commonly used but are said to have significant environmental impacts. The company with its new development aims to offer a sustainable alternative for plant-based fibres such as viscose-rayon.
Viscose-rayon is a well-established fibre made from cellulose predominantly derived from wood-pulp, and used to make everything from home furnishings to clothing. With the increasing environmental concern associated with the production of fibres from cotton and other plant based sources. A considerable number of trees are cut down, chipped and then treated with chemicals, followed by an energy intensive purification process to source the cellulose required for rayon production.
Alfie Germano, Nanollose’s Managing Director said that each year a huge amount of trees are cut down to produce wood-based fibres like rayon. Today’s breakthrough takes Nanollose one step closer to commercializing their sustainable fibres as a very real alternative, so they positively impact and reduce the cutting down of trees and use of toxic processes to create clothing.
Unlike conventional rayon, Nanollose’s sustainable alternative is derived using microbes that convert biomass waste products from the beer, wine and liquid food industries into microbial cellulose, in a process that is said to take less than one month and require very little land, water or energy. The microbial cellulose is then converted into rayon fibres using the Nanollose technology.
In the case of textiles, the cellulose is then synthesized to make fibres. As a result of this crafting process there are by products that are not entirely desirable or fully utilized. At Nanollose, they do not need plants or trees to obtain cellulose.
As brands, retailers and manufacturers increasingly seek environmentally sustainable fibre resources, Germano said that interest in the company’s technology has been significant. Over the past three months interest in their fibre technology from multiple textile, apparel and fibre manufactures has been significant, and the next step will be around accelerating towards producing sufficient quantities of rayon fibre samples for these groups.
Raffaele Germano obtained his Fashion Design and Textile Science Diploma from the Bentley College of Technical and Further Education in Perth, Western Australia. After working for his family garment manufacturing company, he moved to Hong Kong where he spent 24 years in the garment industry as a leader of large scale global product development, sourcing and retail operations.
Nanollose plans to infuse themselves directly amongst the supply chain ecosystems. Work directly with the fibre and fabric makers, and work directly with brands and retailers. The best model is for them to be in the middle where they all work together.
The next stage for Nanollose is to work closely with key partners that share the same ethos and will help us with their scale and support so they can start providing raw material-fibre solutions for product as their vision is to be ingrained into a sustainable supply chain.