Renewcell Field Trip: April 2023

Learning together is what we do best at Kingpins! Right after the Amsterdam show, our own Vivian Wang, along with 40 other denim industry insiders, headed to Sweden to visit Renewcell, the world’s largest textile recycling facility in Sweden. We got to see firsthand how they use 100% recycled textiles to make Circulose®-branded pulp that is then used in man-made cellulosic fiber production for viscose, modal, and lyocell. You can check out Interesting Monsters’ video recap here and Kelly Harrington’s video recap here.

You can find out more about Renewcell and Circulose® here. Plus, you can read about their mission below:

Go big, fast.

There is little mystery to the situation – the textile industry’s sustainability problems are big because the textile industry is enormous. There are 300 million people working in the sector (source: EMF) creating 150 billion garments every year (source: WEF). For an innovator hoping to decrease our industry’s harm to the world, size (alongside the innovation itself) is crucial. Moreover, with just seven years until 2030, scale must happen fast.

At Renewcell, we have stuck to a few principles that have enabled us to go big, fast. First, we have designed a recycling process that fits established machinery, infrastructure, and supplier networks. Second, we have made sure that we yield a product that is equal to virgin quality specifications — worse is a non-starter, and superior is very hard, but equal is perfect. Third, we have worked closely with our intended customers and end users to validate our innovation and lock in future demand. This, in turn, has made it possible for us to gather the capital required to buy the off-the-shelf machinery we need.

As we grow, we aim to inspire others to apply these principles and contribute to accelerating circularity in our industry.

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