The ambition to replace environmentally polluting polyester in textiles has led to Renewcell and the Swiss company HeiQ forming a strategic partnership to manufacture circular HeiQ AeoniQ cellulose filament yarn from Circulose® pulp supplied by Renewcell. This partnership enables the incorporation of recycled raw materials in the most modern and environmentally friendly yarn production process that facilitates 100% circularity in the textile industry.
Capitalizing on their shared vision of a circular and bio-based textile industry, HeiQ and Renewcell have joined forces to commercialize 100% circular and biobased high-tenacity filament yarns as a viable replacement for fossil-based fibers like nylon and polyester at scale. Promising results in initial tests using Circulose® as a feedstock for production of HeiQ AeoniQ yarn create an opportunity for collaboration between the partners in their effort to lead the current textile industry transformation, positioning both companies and Europe as a pioneer region incorporating recycled raw materials in the most modern and environmentally friendly yarn production processes that allow true circularity in the textile industry.
Circulose® – Circular Cellulose
Circulose® is a branded dissolving pulp product that Renewcell makes from 100% textile waste, such as worn-out jeans and production scraps. Dissolving pulp cellulose is what the textile industry uses to make viscose, lyocell, modal, acetate other types of regenerated fibers (also called 'man-made cellulosic fibers'). The only difference with Circulose® is that it's made from textile waste instead of wood. Cellulose is the most abundant organic polymer in the world. It's what makes up the cell walls of most plants and trees. The purest cellulose found in nature is cotton.
Patrik Lundström, CEO of Renewcell:
"Our 100% recycled textile pulp, Circulose®, was born of the idea to do something better than dump or burn the millions of tonnes of waste this industry creates every year, while also decreasing the need for new high impact virgin materials. Over the last years two years, we have successfully proven the applicability of Circulose® as a direct substitute to virgin cotton and wood as a raw material in fashion. The challenge of how to use Circulose® as a direct substitute for oil in high tenacity perfomance fabrics has remained, until now. Our partnership with HeiQ, a company that fully shares our vision, utilizes Circulose® as a feedstock for the game changing HeiQ AeoniQ yarn and positions us both for a massive breakthrough in the right disruptive direction for the global textile industry. 100% textile-to-textile recycled, bio-based, biodegradable and with the physical performance of polyester and nylon – a Circulose® HeiQ AeoniQ Yarn will excite any brand interested in climate and environment."
Carlo Centonze, co-founder and CEO of HeiQ:
"This latest strategic partnership with Renewcell is further proof of how circularity motivated suppliers to the textile industry can collaborate and be the movers and shakers that drive the transformation of the industry to becoming more environmentally friendly. With Circulose as one source of feedstock for our HeiQ AeoniQ we will be rescuing tons of textiles from ending up in landfills and preserving our trees and forests. We eagerly anticipate uniting our ingredient branding expertise to jointly convince brands of the huge advantages of replacing all synthetic, fossil-fuel based textiles and how embracing circularity is both in their interests as well as those of their customers and the planet.”
HeiQ AeoniQ cellulosic yarn made of climate positive raw materials
HeiQ AeoniQ yarns (Aeon: striving for eternal circularity) are made out of cellulosic biopolymers that during growth bind carbon from the atmosphere while generating oxygen. This high-performance yarn is positioned to potentially substitute synthetic filament yarns which constitute over 60% of global annual textile output of 108 million metric tons. Further, when compared to conventional cellulosic products, HeiQ AeoniQ yarns do not draw on arable land, pesticides or fertilizer in their production. HeiQ AeoniQ yarns are designed for cradle-to-cradle circularity and can be recycled repeatedly while maintaining consistent fiber quality. The manufacturing process is expected to consume 99% less water than cotton yarns and HeiQ AeoniQ is designed to offer comparable performance properties to polyester, nylon and conventional regenerated cellulose yarns.