How it all started
Scientists at KTH, the Royal Institute of Technology, in Stockholm, had been researching more efficient ways of producing bioethanol by finding a new way to decompose cellulose. As work progressed they realized that their method could be successful in decomposing the cellulose in cotton and viscose. They were convinced that this could be the key to recycling textiles on a massive scale and make fashion sustainable. In January 2012 they founded Renewcell.
The Kristinehamn Plant
In July 2014 a model walked down a catwalk and into history. The yellow dress she was wearing was made out of blue jeans that had been recycled with Renewcell’s patented Circulose® technology. Following growing interest for from the fashion industry, the first industrial scale Renewcell plant opened in Kristinehamn, Sweden in 2018. It’s a demo plant with the capacity to recycle thousands of tonnes of textiles every year. In 2020 garments made from Circulose® recycled in Kristinehamn became available for anyone to buy from leading brands worldwide. Renewcell had proven that recycling clothes finally works.
Making fashion sustainable
Demand for Circulose® recycled textiles has soared. What started as a bold idea in a lab in 2012 is now on its way to change a global industry. To be able to recycle enough clothes to make a real difference, Renewcell is now investing in expanded capacity. At the new plant under construction in Sundsvall, Sweden, hundreds of millions of garments will be saved from landfill and incineration each year. But that’s just the beginning.