Infinited Fiber Company, the Finnish textile startup announced that it has raised a $4.1 million (EUR3.7 million) funding to scale its recycled cellulose fiber capacity. The company’s technology can convert cellulose containing materials like agriculture waste, cardboard and textile to new natural fiber.
The company runs a pilot plant in Finland with a 50 ton capacity and with the new round of investment, it plans to expand annual textile fiber production capacity to 500 tons. The investors in IFC include digital marketing firm Virala and Finland’s state-owned energy firm Fortum Oy.
The company’s recycled fiber is used in high volume textile and garment applications such as non-woven materials, bed linens, sweaters, T-shirts and denim. The recycled fiber has a consistent quality and a naturally soft touch and look. The fiber also has bio-degradable and antibacterial properties.
The color uptake for Infinited Fiber is 30%-40% better than competing rivals which means that it requires lesser chemicals and energy. The water usage for the production of 1 kilo of Infinited Fiber is around 50 liters which is significantly lesser than the 20,000 liter requirement for 1 kg of cotton fiber. The fiber is also very cost competitive, according to the company.
CEO of Infinited Fiber Company Petri Alava said that a major problem facing the textile industry is the growing demand for cotton and its unavailability. The company has proved that the Infinited Fiber can meet all the commercial and quality requirements of the textile industry. He added that there is significant push from the global denim industry to bring the Infinited Fiber solution to the market. The company’s production process is protected by intellectual property rights and patents in important market areas.
The IFC’s goals align with the goals of H&M to achieve a fully circular production model. The Swedish multinational clothing retail giant aims to use 100% sustainably sourced or recycled materials by 2030.
The investment manager at Co:LAB, H&M’s investment arm, Erik Karlsson said that Infinited Fiber has shown potential to accelerate transition from a liner fashion industry to a circular one. The company looks forward to scale and develop the recycled fiber technology in the next couple of years.
Fortum’s head of bio-based solutions business Heli Antila said that Fortum has studied many possibilities for growing its business by using the biomass more efficiently. The company believes in bio-refining and other technologies for producing a more sustainable textile fiber.