Information about science based innovations, solid facts to support decision-making, performance and business development for VTT’s partners, customers and anyone interested in high technology and its applications.
A magazine on science, technology and business

​Helsinki Metropolitan Area Reuse Centre Ltd collected and pre-processed cotton textiles thrown away by consumers that could not be reused as clothing or used as material for recycled products.

Converting rags to design clothes

Paula Bergqvist | 15.1.2016

​Old and worn-out cotton textiles are given a new life in a globally unique project that extracts cellulose fibre from textile waste for reuse as new knitted fabric.

Developed by VTT, the new technology enables the production of cellulose fibre without carbon disulphide, which is toxic. The method is more environmentally friendly than that used for viscose or virgin cotton. A group of Finnish organisations is involved in the project, with the aim of trying out the new production technique in practice at all stages of the value chain.

 


 

Aiming at closed-loop recycling

 

.

VTT will de-colour the material, turn it into a cellulose carbamate solution and fiberise it in the former Avilon viscose plant in Valkeakoski that went bankrupt. The fibre is expected to have similar qualities to commercial viscose fibres.

Pure Waste will turn the fibres into thread and the thread into knitted fabrics. During spinning, mechanically recycled textile fibre is mixed into the fibre to produce enough knitted fabric for a commercial product line.

Seppälä will design and produce a line of prototypes and, once the pilot phase of the project has been completed, manufacture a commercial clothing line for its customers towards the end of 2016.

The aim is to sell the garments in RePack packaging. Using recyclable RePack packaging means that customers receive products without the usual packaging waste. In addition, customers can use the packaging to return any old textiles they may have to the Helsinki Metropolitan Area Reuse Centre for recycling.

Ethica, a specialist in circular economy, will study and model the potential of a closed-loop textile ecosystem more comprehensively, and gauge consumers’ interest in operating models that are based on the principles of circular economy and recycled materials.


 

Seppälä interested in an ecological option

The project was launched last spring, at the same time as retail-clothing company Seppälä became a family owned company again.

“The timing of the project was perfect for us, because the new owners wanted to strengthen sustainable business in Seppälä. Responsibility is one of Seppälä’s values, and our objective is that responsibility permeates our day-to-day operations throughout the value chain,” says Erica Adlercreutz, Purchasing Development Manager, Seppälä.

Seppälä will organise a campaign at its stores during the project to close the loop by collecting used material and bringing it back to production. Customers can return their old clothes to Seppälä stores to be used as raw material for new products.

“In purchasing, responsibility means increasing the share of ecological products in the Seppälä product line.”

“We believe that if the customer is pleased with the look and fit of a product, when given a choice, will choose a more ecological option. If the project succeeds, it can provide more options for those looking for ecological materials. For us the option of acquiring fibres, yarn or material developed – and perhaps also produced – in Finland, is an ideal solution,” Adlercreutz says.


 

Carbon footprint reduced by 40 to 50%

In the circular economy pilot, old worn-out cotton is dissolved and reused as a raw material for new fibre. Cellulose fibre is produced using the same technique and equipment as has been used to make viscose fibre for decades.

The new production technique is considerably more environmentally friendly than the technique used for viscose, as no carbon disulphide is needed in the dissolution process. Compared to virgin cotton, the new technique also reduces the water footprint by more than 70% and the carbon footprint by 40 to 50%.

The project is funded by Tekes and the participating businesses. 


 

IMP_adlercreutz_erica.jpg
 

Erica Adlercreutz from Seppälä believes that if the customer is pleased with the look and fit of a product, when given a choice, will choose a more ecological option.


 

Follow the project’s progress online: www.reloopingfashion.org​​

 

 

VTT Impulsehttps://www.vttresearch.com/ImpulseVTT Impulse
Clearing the way for new materials with ChemSheet technologyhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Clearing-the-way-for-new-materials-with-ChemSheet-technology.aspxClearing the way for new materials with ChemSheet technology
LEO brings intelligence to cylindershttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/LEO-brings-intelligence-to-cylinders.aspxLEO brings intelligence to cylinders
The energy sector is jointly preparing for cyber threatshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/The-energy-sector-is-jointly-preparing-for-cyber-threats.aspxThe energy sector is jointly preparing for cyber threats
World in 2030 - answers to tomorrow’s questionshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/World-in-2030-answers-to-tomorrows-questions.aspxWorld in 2030 - answers to tomorrow’s questions
Impulse 1/2018https://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Impulse-1-2018.aspxImpulse 1/2018
Finnish fuel cell technology aims for the worldhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Finnish-fuel-cell-technology-aims-for-the-world.aspxFinnish fuel cell technology aims for the world
Taking the bioeconomy to a new level through digitalisationhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Taking-the-bioeconomy-to-a-new-level-through-digitalisation.aspxTaking the bioeconomy to a new level through digitalisation
Pekka Soini’s Business Finland is an "internationalisation channel" for companieshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Pekka-Soini’s-Business-Finland-is-an-internationalisation-channel-for-companies.aspxPekka Soini’s Business Finland is an "internationalisation channel" for companies
Salofa creates rapid tests for monitoring health and the environmenthttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Salofa-creates-rapid-tests-for-monitoring-health-and-the-environment.aspxSalofa creates rapid tests for monitoring health and the environment
Using nuclear power to mitigate climate changehttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Using-nuclear-power-to-mitigate-climate-change.aspxUsing nuclear power to mitigate climate change
Could smartglasses replace smartphones? VTT spin-off Dispelix to commercialise a virtual display for glasseshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Could-smartglasses-replace-smartphones-VTT-spin-off-Dispelix-to-commercialise-a-virtual-display-for-glasses.aspxCould smartglasses replace smartphones? VTT spin-off Dispelix to commercialise a virtual display for glasses
Energy solutions and the 2050 goalshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Energy-solutions-and-the-2050-goals.aspxEnergy solutions and the 2050 goals
S Group believes in a multi-channel modelhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/S-Group-believes-in-a-multi-channel-model.aspxS Group believes in a multi-channel model
Minister of Energy would like to expand emissions tradinghttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Minister-of-Energy-would-like-to-expand-emissions-trading.aspxMinister of Energy would like to expand emissions trading
Finland on its way towards low-carbon year 2050https://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Finland-on-its-way-towards-low-carbon-year-2050.aspxFinland on its way towards low-carbon year 2050
More speed to network services with 5Ghttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/More-speed-to-network-services-with-5G.aspxMore speed to network services with 5G
Digitalisation of the shipping industry requires cutting-edge researchhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Digitalisation-of-the-shipping-industry-requires-cutting-edge-research.aspxDigitalisation of the shipping industry requires cutting-edge research
A better world based on positive energyhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/A-better-world-based-on-positive-energy.aspxA better world based on positive energy
Business angel speaks out: Growth from the international arenahttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Business-angel-speaks-out-Growth-from-the-international-arena.aspxBusiness angel speaks out: Growth from the international arena
Plasma treatment spurs material developmenthttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Plasma-treatment-spurs-material-development.aspxPlasma treatment spurs material development
Comfy but energy efficient homeshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Comfy-but-energy-efficient-homes.aspxComfy but energy efficient homes
An export product tougher than nailshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/An-export-product-tougher-than-nails.aspxAn export product tougher than nails
From a fishing port to a model district for smart energyhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/From-a-fishing-port-to-a-model-district-for-smart-energy.aspxFrom a fishing port to a model district for smart energy
Robotics – technology with multi-faceted potentialhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Robotics-technology-with-multi-faceted-potential.aspxRobotics – technology with multi-faceted potential
Pilot plants forge innovative ideas into business activitieshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Pilot-plants-forge-innovative-ideas-into-business-activities.aspxPilot plants forge innovative ideas into business activities
X-ray imaging to new heightshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/X-ray-imaging-to-new-heights.aspxX-ray imaging to new heights
LED foils can be bent into any shapehttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/LED-foils-can-be-bent-into-any-shape.aspxLED foils can be bent into any shape
Miniaturising devices to fit on your palmhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Miniaturising-devices-to-fit-on-your-palm.aspxMiniaturising devices to fit on your palm
Impulse 2/2015https://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Impulse-2-2015.aspxImpulse 2/2015
Impulse 2/2017https://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Impulse-2-2017.aspxImpulse 2/2017
It is the duty of entrepreneurs to seek growthhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/It-is-the-duty-of-entrepreneurs-to-seek-growth.aspxIt is the duty of entrepreneurs to seek growth
Passion spurs researchhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/passion-spurs-research.aspxPassion spurs research
Multifunctional polysaccharides open up new opportunities for the food processing industryhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Multifunctional-polysaccharides-open-up-new-opportunities-for-the-food-processing-industry.aspxMultifunctional polysaccharides open up new opportunities for the food processing industry
Autonomous systems are proliferating rapidly in industryhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Autonomous-systems-are-proliferating-rapidly-in-industry.aspxAutonomous systems are proliferating rapidly in industry
Controlling friction and greenhouse emissions by digitalising materialshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Controlling-friction-and-greenhouse-emissions-by-digitalising-materials.aspxControlling friction and greenhouse emissions by digitalising materials
Three-dimensional virtual reality and augmented reality – Towards new worldshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Three-dimensional-virtual-reality-and-augmented-reality-Towards-new-worlds.aspxThree-dimensional virtual reality and augmented reality – Towards new worlds
Pervious pavements – new solutions to prevent urban floodinghttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Pervious-pavements-new-solutions-to-prevent-urban-flooding.aspxPervious pavements – new solutions to prevent urban flooding
Finland’s old nuclear research reactor to be decommissioned – New Centre for Nuclear Safety under constructionhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Finlands-old-nuclear-research-reactor-to-be-decommissioned-new-centre-for-nuclear-safety-under-construction.aspxFinland’s old nuclear research reactor to be decommissioned – New Centre for Nuclear Safety under construction
New power for the electronics industryhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/New-power-for-the-electronics-industry.aspxNew power for the electronics industry
Sensor of tomorrowhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Sensor-of-tomorrow.aspxSensor of tomorrow
VTT’s spin-off GrainSense puts a laboratory in farmers’ handshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/VTTs-spin-off-GrainSense-puts-a-laboratory-in-farmers-hands.aspxVTT’s spin-off GrainSense puts a laboratory in farmers’ hands
Why do so many women feel chilly indoorshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Why-do-so-many-women-feel-chilly-indoors.aspxWhy do so many women feel chilly indoors
Demand for energy storage is growing rapidlyhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Demand-for-energy-storage-is-growing-rapidly.aspxDemand for energy storage is growing rapidly
Cleaner city traffic with wood-based dieselhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Cleaner-city-traffic-with-wood-based-diesel.aspxCleaner city traffic with wood-based diesel
Raw material for fuels, chemicals and food from atmospheric carbon dioxidehttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Raw-material-for-fuels-chemicals-and-food-from-atmospheric-carbon-dioxide.aspxRaw material for fuels, chemicals and food from atmospheric carbon dioxide
The new agenda enhances the use of research infrastructurehttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/The-new-agenda-enhances-the-use-of-research-infrastructure.aspxThe new agenda enhances the use of research infrastructure
The rise of robotic carshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/The-rise-of-robotic-cars.aspxThe rise of robotic cars
Brazil paves the way for bioenergyhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Brazil-paves-the-way-for-bioenergy.aspxBrazil paves the way for bioenergy
Jari Gustafsson: Old and new workhorses as recession beatershttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Old-and-new-workhorses-as-recession-beaters.aspxJari Gustafsson: Old and new workhorses as recession beaters