The Bavarian viscose speciality fibres manufacturer Kelheim Fibres has partnered with the European Technology Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing (ETP) in two strategic programmes: “Bio-Based Fibres” and “Circular Economy”.
Against the backdrop of the increasingly important sustainability debate, fundamental changes inside the textile supply chain are taking place. The two three-year ETP programmes “Bio-Based Fibres” and “Circular Economy” are a clear response to this. The goal is to bring key players from industry and science together to develop a long-term strategy to actively shape the sustainable realignment of the European textile industry.
“We have been manufacturing bio-based fibres for almost 85 years – these fibres are made from the renewable material wood and they are fully biodegradable at the end of their product lifecycle. As an alternative to crude-oil based materials, these fibres are becoming increasingly popular in various applications. Part of the reason for this is the fact that we can functionalize our speciality fibres during the production process and give them the exact properties that are required for different end uses. In terms of performance, they can keep up with synthetic materials”, explains Dr. Marina Crnoja-Cosic, head of New Business Development at Kelheim Fibres.
But Kelheim’s sustainability criteria also include the full life cycle of their products: When a textile, after its use, can become the raw material for new fibres and new products, for Crnoja-Cosic that is a huge advantage in terms of sustainability. “We want the best possible result – bio-based fibres ANDcircular economy are the way to get there.”
The European Technology Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing (ETP) is the largest European network for the promotion of textile research and innovation. It brings together over 200 members from industry, research, higher education, clusters, associations and textile-related sectors.
Kelheim Fibres GmbH is the world’s leading producer of viscose speciality fibres and the most important supplier of viscose fibres for the tampon industry. About 90000 tons of viscose fibres are produced every year at Kelheim in South Germany from the renewable raw material wood. These are used in most diverse applications – from fashion, hygiene and medical products to nonwovens and speciality papers. Innovative products, flexible technologies and an exceptional focus on sustainability form the foundation of the company’s success.