Spinnova and The North Face have signed a development agreement to develop new, sustainable, high-performance textiles for the outdoor apparel category. The goal of the partnership between the Finnish textile fiber producer and the US outdoor apparel company is to commercialize sustainable products using Spinnova materials, access to the first commercial volumes of Spinnova fiber and to provide the outdoor segment with a sustainable alternative to conventional textile materials. This has been announced by Spinnova this week.
Spinnova fiber is produced by mechanically grinding cellulose mass into micro fibrillated cellulose (MFC). Spinnova currently uses only FSC-certified wood pulp cellulose as raw material. Other suitable raw materials are textile waste containing cellulose, or agricultural waste such as wheat or barley straw. No harmful chemicals or solvents are necessary for the closed-cycle manufacturing process, and no waste stream is produced, the company says. According to Spinnova, the material can be recycled again and again through the same process after use, without reducing the quality of the fiber. Fiber produced with Spinnova’s technology is low in emissions and biodegradable, while the feel of the material resembles cotton or linen.
Oliver Lang, global VP, product development for The North Face, adds: “It’s our over-arching goal to build more circular products, constantly develop innovative materials and to further reduce the environmental impacts of our products.”
The North Face is owned by VF Group, which had annual sales of $9.2 billion for the financial year ended March 2021. Spinnova anticipates that the agreement with The North Face could be a significant contributor to its market entry, although the today signed agreement is not anticipated to have a material impact on Spinnova’s financial performance in 2021-2022.
Spinnova’s long term business targets include to reach one million tonnes of annual Spinnova fiber production capacity in the next 10-12 years. In February, Spinnova communicated plans to build its first commercial factory in Finland to meet the growing demand for sustainable materials from global textile brands. The factory producing Spinnova fiber is expected to begin production at the end of 2022, along with Spinnova’s strategic partner, cellulose producer Suzano.