Infinited Fiber Company
In a nutcell
The cellulose carbamate method developed by Infinited Fiber can be used to make completely new textile fiber from textile waste. Other cellulosic waste streams, such as recycled board and paper, as well as agricultural waste streams such as wheat straw, can also be used as raw material for Infinna ™ fiber.
Fiber production begins with the initial processing of the raw material, which is tailored to the raw material used. For textile waste, the process begins with sorting and mechanical tearing, after which the cellulosic fiber is separated from other fibers such as polyester. The carbamation step in which the cellulose reacts with the urea is the core of the process, and from this step on, the process is the same regardless of the raw material. The cellulose carbamate powder resulting from the process is dissolved into a liquid, and the liquid is spun into a cellulose carbamate fiber. After use, textiles made from fiber can be recycled in the same process along with other textile waste. As such, the fiber is biodegradable. The main environmental impacts of the manufacturing process are related to maintaining the biomass cycle and reducing the global textile waste problem. Compared to cotton, viscose and polyester, Infinna's manufacturing is less harmful to the environment, especially in terms of carbon dioxide emissions. Compared to cotton, water consumption is significantly lower. According to the company, producing the amount of fiber needed for a single T-shirt requires about 14 liters of water, while producing the same amount of cotton fiber requires more than 600 liters of water.
Infinna fiber has a natural, cotton-like feel and has excellent colorability. Infinna fiber can be used like any other textile fiber in the manufacture of yarn and fabric and has already been used to make a wide variety of textiles and garments.
Objectives and Collaboration
Infinited Fiber Company’s Infinna fiber is on the verge of commercialization. Piloting of fiber production began in Espoo in 2018, and a factory was opened in Valkeakoski in early 2020. In total, the pilot operations have an annual capacity of 150 tonnes. Although the technology development work is in Finland, it has global market potential. The method can be applied to existing pulp and viscose fiber mills. The goal of the company's business is to license technology. According to Infinited Fiber Company, the first licensed commercial-scale plant is planned for the near future. Infinited Fiber has gathered around it a well-known group of partners from around the world. The customer base includes e.g., H&M Group, BESTSELLER, PVH Corp. (including Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger), Wrangler and Patagonia, and the Finnish nonwoven fabric manufacturer Suominen. H&M Group's Weekday chain introduced the first commercial product, jeans made of Infinna fiber and organic cotton, in early 2021. Infinited Fiber is leading a three-year New Cotton Project that aims to model the textile-to-textile cycle for the entire value chain and to promote the circular economy in the textile industry. The textile waste collected in the EU-funded project is used to make new textile products using Infinited Fiber technology, and the finished products are sold by adidas and the H&M Group.
April 16, 2019 Infinited Fiber Company signs new partnerships with H&M Group, Fortum and Virala
Infinited Fiber Company Ltd. (IFC) has raised 3.7 million euros in funding from investors, including H&M Group, Fortum and Virala. IFC is currently running a 50-ton pilot plant in Finland and plans to increase the annual capacity of the next generation sustainable textile fiber production up to 500 tons in order to meet the growing demand from the market.
“I’m very proud that we have created a technology that enables textile waste to be used over and over again by producing a strong, sustainable fiber without compromising quality and comfort. We are delighted to welcome the global fashion retailer H&M Group, as well as Fortum, a leading clean energy and resource efficiency company, and Finnish investment company Virala, to be our new partners in closing the loop for textiles,” says Petri Alava, CEO of IFC.
“We’re excited about the partnership with Infinited Fiber Company. Their innovation aligns perfectly with the H&M group’s sustainability goals and our vision to become fully circular. Infinited Fiber has proven significant potential to accelerate the journey from a linear to a circular fashion industry. We look forward to being part of developing and scaling this technology in the coming years”, says Erik Karlsson, Investment Manager for Sustainable Fashion at H&M group’s investment arm CO:LAB.
“Fortum is studying possibilities to grow business that is based on the more efficient use of biomass. We believe strongly in biorefining, new technologies and their role in a more sustainably produced textile fibre”, says Heli Antila, head of Fortum’sbusiness focusing on bio-based solutions.
In addition to cotton rich textile waste, the Infinited Fiber manufacturing process can use most material containing cellulose, e.g. recycled paper, cardboard and agricultural waste such as straw – nevertheless the reborn fiber will be the same. Properties of the Infinited Fiber include a natural soft look and feel, consistent proven quality, 30-40% better color uptake than competing fibers, it’s antibacterial and bio-degradable and has excellent moisture absorption qualities. In addition, it has a total cost competitiveness in the textile production supply chain.
“A problem in the textile industry is the growing demand for cotton that simply isn’t available. We have proven that for example in denim applications, the commercial quality requirements can be reached with our Infinited Fiber. The global denim industry is pushing us to bring our solutions to the market. Our reborn Infinited Fiber is re-usable forever, carbon neutral and applicable like natural cotton without any microplastics harming the environment”, says Alava.
The business model of IFC is to license the Infinited Fiber technology for global fiber producers in textile and non-woven industries. The end-use applications include fashion, disposable personal care products (e.g. wipes, diapers, pads) and technical products (e.g. automotive filters, dairy, construction applications). The production process is protected by several patents in key market areas.
The sale of the first licensed commercial plant with a capacity of 25,000 tons is scheduled for 2020-2021. The pilot plant started up production in March 2018 and is selling solutions to several leading global brands.
2020 Infinited Fiber Company registred a new brand named as Infinna™
They adverdise that Infinna™ is
1. Born from waste and fully circular Textile-to-textile fiber regeneration is now a reality. Clothes and textiles made with our regenerated fibers can be recycled with other textile waste and reborn again as Infinna™.
2. An alternative to virgin cotton A premium textile fiber that’s soft and versatile like cotton and eliminates the need to grow new materials by capturing the value of what’s already been produced.
3. Only natural ingredients True, you can’t grow it. But Infinna™ is as natural as manmade can be. It’s created out of cellulose, which is a building block of all plants. Anything else that’s in the feedstock is cleaned out in the process.
4. Completely biodegradable, no microplastics Infinna™ is completely biodegradable and contains no microplastics to clog our oceans and seas.
5. Soft and natural to the touch Whether you use it to make a t-shirt, a hoodie, denim or bedsheets, Infinna™ feels soft to the touch and lovely against the skin.
6. Saves water Producing the fibers to make one t-shirt with Infinna™ takes a fraction of the water needed to produce a similar amount of cotton. Multiply by the 2 billion T-shirts made annually, and you see the scope of what’s possible.
A shared commitment to bringing circular materials and sustainable practices to the nonwovens industry, and a desire to differentiate positively in the single-use items market, brought together the innovative textile technology group Infinited Fiber Company and Suominen, the global market leader in nonwovens for wipes, to create a nonwoven sheet made 100% from regenerated textile waste.
The sheet is made with Infinited Fiber Company’s regenerated fiber Infinna™, which is biodegradable, plastic-free fiber and made from discarded cotton-rich textiles, making it a resource-efficient alternative to the conventional materials used in single-use nonwovens, such as polyester and viscose. The nonwoven was developed through collaborative R&D efforts by Suominen and Infinited Fiber Company, whose shared values include sustainability and circularity.
“Suominen aims to differentiate with innovation and sustainability. We see high potential in using recycled materials and are very excited to be able to support and participate in the development of Infinna™ for nonwoven applications,” says Suominen’s President and CEO Petri Helsky.
Infinited Fiber Company co-founder and CEO Petri Alava says: “Introducing materials that are made from resources that already exist – like discarded textiles – is a way of bringing circularity to the single-use nonwovens market. The material we have created with Suominen demonstrates a more sustainable future for nonwovens, and we look forward to continuing our close collaboration and co-development work in the years ahead.”
The nonwoven sheet co-created by the two Finnish companies speaks to the goals of biodegradability and plastic-free. These are now key focus points for the nonwovens industry, driven by the European Commission’s single-use plastics directive and increasing pressure from retailers and consumers looking for more sustainable, circular options in single-use items.