Lenzing and NFW partner to provide sustainable leather alternatives for fashion

Lenzing has teamed up with NFW (Natural Fibre Welding Inc.) to offer TENCEL™ branded fibres as another backer option for NFW’s patented plant-based technology, MIRUM®. The MIRUM® x TENCEL™collaboration will be showcased for the first time in Milan, Italy during the international leather fair, LINEAPELLE, which will take place on 21st – 23rd February 2023 in Milan, Italy.

MIRUM® is a categorically unique material class, perfect for luxury accessories, fashion, footwear, automotive, and home goods. TENCEL™ Lyocell and Modal fibres are derived from sustainable wood sources and produced using environmentally responsible processes. The fibres are identifiable, verifiable and traceable through Lenzing’s Fibre Identification technology which enables a physical identification of fibre origin at different stages of production. This enables full traceability of the fibre materials used during the production process, be it on a piece of fabric or finished product, like garments or footwear. Completely free from plastic, MIRUM® is made from natural rubber, plant and mineral pigments, plant-based oils and waxes, and an all-natural fabric backing. Each MIRUM® recipe is unique, but the commitment to using only natural ingredients is unchanging. Instead of relying on PU binders, a characteristic of most leather alternatives, MIRUM® uses natural rubber and plant oils for binding.

NFW’s unique approach incorporates a diversity of natural ingredients like biobased charcoal, clay, cork powder, rice hulls, coconut fibres, recycled denim or seaweed to develop colour or add visual interest. At the end of its life cycle, products made with MIRUM® can be recycled into new MIRUM® or ground up and returned to the earth, while TENCEL™ fibres are compostable and biodegradable, enabling complete circularity of finished products. The collaboration creates a uniquely sustainable alternative for leather applications as both TENCEL™ fibres and MIRUM® are versatile enough to be used in multiple applications.

“At NFW, we believe that plant matter is the only material that can scale to replace plastic. Since its inception, MIRUM® has been engineered to benefit our planet. By adding fabrics made of TENCEL™ to MIRUM®, we can enhance material transparency and traceability, while guaranteeing comfort and great hand feel on the skin. We are thrilled to join hands with the TENCEL™ brand and we will continue creating greener alternatives for the fashion industry,” said Oihana Elizalde, Vice President and General Manager of MIRUM® at NFW. One of the best examples of the collaboration is the Allbirds Plant Pacer, which released last fall. The shoe’s upper is made with MIRUM® lined with TENCEL™.

MIRUM® is an ideal option for designers and brands looking to reduce their environmental footprint and expand their creative palettes. TENCEL™ fibres are soft and pleasant on the skin, with outstanding moisture management. Adding backer material made of TENCEL™ fibres to MIRUM® not only creates a truly sustainable option but also one that enhances the comfort level of products made from leather alternatives.

“This partnership is a perfect example of how the combination of our sustainable TENCEL™ fibres and innovative materials like MIRUM® can go beyond traditional textiles. With innovation at heart, there are infinite possibilities for application of the new material. TENCEL™ fibres used as backers not only increase the level of transparency and traceability of MIRUM®, but also enhance comfort – and with a very low carbon footprint. We are confident that the versatile material will be loved by supply chain partners and brands across footwear, fashion apparel, accessories, furniture, and even automotive industries,” said Birgit Schnetzlinger, Head of Business Development Functional Wear and Footwear, Global Textiles Business at Lenzing AG.

Both Lenzing and NFW will be showcasing their products at LINEAPELLE 2023. Stop by Hall 9, booth H02 to see the new MIRUM® material backed with TENCEL™ fibres on display, including the Allbirds Plant Pacer. The product is now commercially available globally, and the ‘MIRUM® x TENCEL™’ leather alternative will be added to Lenzing’s E-Branding.

Read more about Lenzing here.

Images by Lenzing

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