Locally grown textiles

‘Locally grown’ extends so much further than fruit and vegetables – for example, to Swedish forests. The idea is that wood is to be one of the raw materials for producing locally grown textiles, which are then converted into various kinds of furnishing – anything from furniture to tablecloths. At the same time, a perpetual cycle is created, with the aim of making all furnishings recyclable.

When you grow tired of the table or the sofa is worn out, you just leave them to be recycled, and they are resurrected as new paper or cardboard products. According to this principle, a resource cycle is created in which we, instead of throwing away raw materials and textile fibres, use them over and over again.

The initiative is run by Smart Textiles and called ‘Designed for Recycling’. The goal is to develop bio-based furniture and interior decoration elements using paper materials that can be recycled. One of the products that is currently being developed is a screen wall that travels through the entire chain – from paper to yarn, textile production, finished product and, finally, recycling.

The background of the project is the need for textile fibres, which is growing in step with the increasing world population. By 2050, the demand is predicted to be three times that of today. One explanation for this is that an ever-increasing number of populated centres are forming all over the world, the inhabitants of which are becoming better off and able to afford to consume more. The production of oil-based textile fibres, such as nylon and polyester, and cotton fibres will in time reach a maximum threshold, and simultaneously these materials are a burden on the environment. Because of this, it is necessary to find new, bio-based materials that are more environmentally friendly and which can be incorporated into a resource cycle, rather than being thrown away and new ones bought in their place.


The initiative ‘Designed for Recycling’ is a part of the ‘Establish locally grown textiles in Sweden’

project, which is directed by Swerea IVF and is a collaboration between that organisation and Smart Textiles, Bioisolator, Kinnarps, the Mid Sweden University, Munksjö Paper, Nordic Paper, OrganoClick, Sjuhäradsbygdens Färgeri, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, Stena Recycling, Stora Enso Re-Board, SKS Sweden and Trikåby. The project is funded by Vinnova, Formas and the Swedish Energy Agency.


The project is part of the national venture ‘Bioinnovation’.