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STOCKHOLM – Chinese viscose manufacturer, Tangshan Sanyou, has produced the world’s first batch of viscose fibres made from 50 per cent post-consumer textiles. The business produced the fibres using the ‘Circulose’ dissolving pulp of Swedish recycling business, Re:newcell. The pulp was produced using post-consumer and post-industrial cotton waste. Re:newcell told Apparel Insider this initial run yielded over 40 tons of viscose staple fibres and will be followed up by regular production. “We used only worn-out cotton denim jeans for this batch,” the company told us. “We are now working together with selected fashion brand partners to develop collections for launch in retail before the end of the year.”

The business couldn’t share with us which brands will be using the fibres in their collections, however, a likely clue here is that H&M and KappAhl are both shareholders in Re:newcell.

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The president of Tangshan Sanyou Chemical Fibre Co.Ltd, Zheng Baishan said: “Sanyou Chemical Fiber has been committed to providing sustainable fibre for textile industry chain with innovative technology. This cooperation with Re:newcell is a remarkable breakthrough in textile recycling field. Next, we will continue to provide more non-wood fibre solutions for brands.”

In financial news, Re:newcell, which already counts H&M as one of its minority shareholders, has also announced it has closed an oversubscribed investment round of US$5m. New investors have joined as owners, including the Swedish fashion brand KappAhl.

“This injection makes it possible for us to increase our pace of production to meet the demand we have from our customers,” said Mattias Jonsson, CEO of Re:newcell. “It also lets us begin preparations for building our second, larger, recycling plant”.

Re:newcell’s existing plant in Kristinehamn, Sweden, has the capacity to recycle 7 000 tons of cotton and viscose textiles annually, equivalent to 30 million t-shirts by weight using a patented recycling process developed by researchers at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

“KappAhl is committed to using only sustainable materials in our products by 2025. To reach this ambitious target, access to materials recycled from worn-out textiles will be key. We look forward to contributing to Re:newcell’s important work and collaborate with them to create great products from high quality recycled materials,” added Fredrika Klarén, head of sustainability at KappAhl.

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