CEO Patrik Lundstrom Emphasises The Renewcell Mission As Their Sundsvall Textile Recycling Plant Comes On Stream


Renewcell’s mission, to make fashion circular, remains high on the global agenda. Leaders in politics and business are reinforcing their messages about the necessity of sustainable change.

Renewcell was one of the companies showcased at the high-level meeting Stockholm+50 in June, aiming to speed up the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

A new report from McKinsey & Co showcased the multi-billion Euro market for textile-to-textile recycling that is forming.

While the 1.5° target may feel out of reach, I am convinced that it is in our collective hands to keep global warming well below 2° if entrepreneurs, investors and brands follow words with action and realise the world’s greatest business opportunity: circularity and sustainability.

In Renewcell 1 in Sundsvall, we are doing just that.

On the 19th of August we started running Renewcell 1 — the world’s first commercial scale 100% textile-to-textile recycling plant.

After several test runs of the facility using water, textile waste is now run through sections of the process line for quality assurance and adjustments, and the full process line is expected to be operational within the upcoming month.

While our production start marks a significant milestone in the global history of textiles, it also causes me to reflect on the massive achievements made by the team that built this plant.

 A little more than a year ago, 1 July 2021, we had an empty building and an ambitious plan. On October 1, after having adapted the site to our needs, we started erecting the plant.

Now after about 10 months of hard work the site is ready for operations. And, at a cost that is about half of the cost of erecting a greenfield viscose plant.

Thanks to the dedicated efforts of our experienced team we were able to deliver despite pandemics, supply chain disruptions, cost inflation and geopolitical crises.

The next step is a gradual process ramp-up over 3-6 months focused on capacity and product quality.

 In this phase, we are reassured by the stability of our Kristinehamn Plant where we have a consistent output above 90 percent within specification.

We are now well positioned to accelerate to meet the ever-increasing demand for Circulose® from fibre manufacturers and fashion brands, and can still conclude we are 5-7 years ahead of competition.

We are engaged in advanced customer dialogues and see good opportunities to establish higher price levels, as well as to compensate for example for increase in transport and energy costs.

The share issue of approximately 324 MSEK completed during Q2 enables us to start the expansion from 60,000 to 120,000 metric tons of capacity at Renewcell 1 two years ahead of our original plan.

Fashion causes somewhere between 8 and 10 per cent of global CO2 emissions, along with immense negative impact on natural and human environments worldwide.

That is why Renewcell, as the first and only 100% textile-to-textile recycler to reach scale, is acknowledged as one of the most important initiatives in this industry. Innovations like our product Circulose® hold the key to turning fashion from a linear model of take-make-dispose to circularity.

That is why we have been able to forge strategic partnerships with leaders like H&M, Aditya Birla, Tangshan Sanyou, Levi’s, GANNI, Daiwabo Rayon and Kelheim Fibres among others.

Together with our brand partners, we continue to prove the applicability of Circulose® as a substitute not just to viscose but also for significant shares of the cotton and polyester fibre markets.

For polyester specifically, we were pleased to recently announce a new partnership with the Swiss innovator HeiQ AeoniQ to develop a commercial Circulose® based yarn as a replacement for the polyester and nylon markets.

Due to Circulose®’s quality and versatility we can, in the fashion industry alone, technically address 100% of the viscose demand equating to about 11 mMT/yr 2030, 30% of the 44 mMT cotton demand and an estimated 15% of the 31 mMT polyester demand summarising to an staggering total addressable demand of 28-30 million metric tons in 2030.

This is also reflected in our pipeline consisting of leading viscose mills as well as the world’s most prominent fashion brands.

As part of our strategy to create demand for Circulose® among brands, we announced new partnerships with GANNI, Jade Cropper and Copenhagen Fashion Week during the quarter.

To conclude, we are on track and confident in scaling our operations. I am pleased to see our engaged, dedicated and experienced employees working closely together to solve any challenges, and proud of the team’s commitment. I look forward to an exciting second half of 2022 and our continued journey towards making fashion circular.

This article is republished from Texintel under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

PCIAW Uniform Networks Buyer, Trusted member