It’s time for the textile industry to lose its virginity, accounce Finnish company Infinited Fiber. They produce soft, recyclable fabric from cardboard, agricultural waste, and textile waste. In December 2021 circular fashion and textile technology group selected AFRY as the main engineering partner for its new flagship factory.
More than 92 million tonnes of textile waste is produced globally every year, with much of it ending up in landfills or incinerators. At the same time, textile fiber demand is increasing rapidly. Infinited Fiber Company’s unique technology turns cellulose-based raw materials, like cotton-rich textile waste, into a premium regenerated textile fiber that goes by the name Infinna™. The technology, which can be licensed for both new factories and to retrofit existing pulp or viscose production units, offers a solution for eliminating waste and reducing the textile industry’s burden on limited virgin resources.
Fashion brands embrace regenerated fiber
Infinited Fiber Company currently operates pilot plants in Finland and has announced plans to build a flagship factory there to meet the strong demand from international clothing brands. The flagship factory will be the first of its kind in the world and will use post-consumer textile waste as feedstock. Production is scheduled to begin in 2024. In Finland, the national-level collection of textile waste will begin in 2023, and in the EU, the collection of textile waste will become mandatory in 2025, which will facilitate raw material supply.
The annual production capacity of the plant is planned at 30,000 tonnes of Infinna fiber, which corresponds to the amount of fiber needed for about 100 million t-shirts. Infinited Fiber Company has already sold a significant portion of future production through multi-year sales deals with global fashion brands, who see its regenerated Infinna fiber as an important part of their own circular economy strategies.
Boost of circular economy
AFRY’s assignment includes the basic engineering of the new factory to support the final investment decision. In this basic engineering phase, AFRY will design the combination of several technology and equipment deliveries into one viable plant. AFRY will also provide its AFRY Smart Site services for the digitalization of the factory, utilizing Industry 4.0 technologies to optimize and digitally connect all the factory’s processes and operations.
“This factory project is vital for us. It enables us to make our regenerated Infinna fiber more widely available to the global apparel brands, and through them to ordinary consumers as well. The plant will also serve as a demonstration facility to accelerate the licensing of our technology. This is why we have chosen world-class experts like AFRY as our partners in the project. AFRY’s strong track record of the successful implementation of similar projects convinced us that AFRY is the right partner to carry out the basic engineering of our factory”Petri Alava, CEO and co-founder of Infinited Fiber Company
“We are honoured to partner with Infinited Fiber in this new investment to boost the circular economy in the textile industry by regenerating new fibers from textile waste. AFRY has extensive experience in implementing large factory projects. Together with Infinited Fiber, we are now designing a modern factory in Finland that will promote the use of regenerated fiber in the clothing industry,” says Kalle Rasinmäki, AFRY’s Head of Process Industries in Finland.