Recycled fibres and Swedish forests combine to make new yarn

At this moment, the very first batch of an entirely new material mix consisting of recycled cotton and raw material from Swedish forests is being spun. The yarn is to be used for garments that will further develop the concept of ‘The Yellow Dress’ – the world’s first garment made out of recycled cotton.

It may be time for holidays, but the researchers at Smart Textiles in Borås are spinning at full speed – especially Stina Björquist and Julia Aronsson, students at the Swedish School of Textiles, who are working to develop a new generation of yarns made from recycled cotton. The yarn will soon be knitted, then used to create new, innovative garments that consist of a mix of recycled cotton and cellulose from Swedish forests.

Cyclical economy
Wargön Innovation runs the ‘Textiles back to Textiles’ project together with, among others, Smart Textiles, which is now in the process of producing fabric using chemically recycled cotton and raw material from Swedish forests.
– It is an important step on the path to making a cyclical economy possible, Magnus Fransson, Project Manager at Wargön Innovation, says.

– Today, we use recycled fibres when making paper. In the future, it will be just as common to use recycled fibres in our textiles, Magnus Fransson says.

The cellulose in the cotton is recycled chemically, and the fibres are turned into a liquid pulp prior to once again beginning the journey through the textile chain in order to become new textile fibres. This means that there exist opportunities to collect old cotton garments for recycling – and also to buy new ones that contain recycled cotton.

Utilising resources to the full
Lena-Marie Jensen at Smart Textiles is the project coordinator and thinks that the project is important in light of the predicted increase in consumption of textile fibres in the future.

– This is the reason why we need to be open to new, innovative solutions that allow us to utilise the resources we have to the full and make them function over several cycles, Lena-Marie Jensen says.