Lenzing's Tencel has teamed up with NFW (Natural Fiber Welding Inc.), a US specialist in developing and manufacturing sustainable products from plants obtained by plants.
Together they released Mirum, a new patented plant-based technology, lined with fabrics made from Tencel fibers. This collaboration debuted in Milan, Italy during the international leather fair, Lineapelle which took place on 21–23rd February 2023 in Milan, Italy.
The new Mirum material with Tencel fibers is completely free from plastic and fully traceable from material to finished product. This new material class can be used for luxury accessories, fashion, footwear, automotive, and home goods, as both Tencel fibers and Mirum are versatile enough to be used in multiple applications.
Mirum is Completely free from plastic as it is made from natural rubber, plant and mineral pigments, plant-based oils and waxes, and an all-natural fabric backing.
NFW’s approach incorporates a diversity of natural ingredients like bio-based charcoal, clay, cork powder, rice hulls, coconut fibers, recycled denim or seaweed to develop color or add visual interest. At the end of their life cycle, products made with Mirum can be recycled into new Mirum or ground up and returned to the earth, while Tencel fibers are compostable and biodegradable, enabling complete circularity of finished products.
“At NFW, we believe that plant matter is the only material that can scale to replace plastic. By adding fabrics made of Tencel to Mirum, we can enhance material transparency and traceability, while guaranteeing comfort and great hand feel on the skin. We are thrilled to join hands with the Tencel brand, and we will continue creating greener alternatives for the fashion industry,” said Oihana Elizalde, vice president and general Manager of Mirum at NFW.
One of the first applications of this collaboration is the Allbirds Plant Pacer model, which released last fall. The shoe’s upper is made with Mirum lined with Tencel.
Mirum can offer an alternative for designers and brands looking to reduce their environmental footprint and expand their creative palettes. Tencel fibers are soft and pleasant on the skin, with outstanding moisture management. Adding backer material made of Tencel fibers to Mirum not only creates a sustainable option, but also one that enhances the comfort level of products made from leather alternatives.
“This partnership is a perfect example of how the combination of our sustainable Tencel fibers and innovative materials like Mirum can go beyond traditional textiles. There are infinite possibilities for application of the new material. Tencel fibers used as backer not only increase the level of transparency and traceability of Mirum, but also enhance comfort – and with a very low carbon footprint," said Birgit Schnetzlinger, head of business development functional wear and footwear, Global Textiles Business, Lenzing AG.
"We are confident that the versatile material will be loved by supply chain partners and brands across footwear, fashion apparel, accessories, furniture, and even automotive industries,” she added.