Forests cover 80% of Finland’s total area, and the forests are used in a genuinely sustainable manner: the forests grow faster than they are harvested. Forests can become the sustainable material solution also for textile industry – and even for fashion.
Fashion from Forest
One of the companies working to find new materials for products is Finnish Metsä Group (fun fact: “metsä” means forest) – a forest industry group whose core business consists of tissue and cooking papers, paperboard, pulp, wood products, and wood supply and forest services. Metsä Group is owned by more than 100,000 Finnish forest owners, and they take good care of the valuable raw material.
Metsä Group established an innovation company Metsä Spring, and plans to build a demo plant in Finland for the production of textile fibers.
“Our welfare society is a great achievement, and it has been driven by the fossil economy. However, this culture of disposability has come to its end. The bioeconomy offers a solution to these global issues. It enables us to replace fossil materials with sustainable alternatives and stop climate change – if we act smartly. We make use of this sustainably grown wood raw material in increasingly valuable ways, and we manufacture products with genuinely lower impact on the environment, that are replacing fossil raw materials,” says Niklas von Weymarn, CEO of Metsä Spring, Metsä Group’s new innovation company.
Wood is suitable for nearly anything that can be made from fossil raw materials. Pulp-based textile fibers can be a real solution for more sustainable textiles. They have the potential to offer an alternative to cotton with a lower impact on the environment, as the production of cotton can no longer be increased because of environmental issues. Wood-based textile fibers are already being used to replace cotton as a raw material for yarn, and they offer great potential for resolving shortages of raw materials in the textile industry.
Pulp can be used to produce strong textile fibers for clothes and technical textiles. Metsä Spring is developing a direct-dissolution method for the production of textile fibre. The method makes use of entirely new types of pulp-dissolving compounds. It has lower impact on the environment than the current production options.
Who will be the fashion designers who will be taking the world by storm by bringing fashion straight out of forest?
Stay tuned for Happy Textiles Bazaar’s meet ups in Helsinki about new textile materials, and become a member today.