CIRCULAR SYSTEMS - REGENERATED MAN-MADE FIBRES FROM NATURAL CELLULOSE
REFIBRE 2020 Update
Lenzing unveils REFIBRA™ breakthrough technology strengthening their commitment to the circular economy in textiles
Lenzing has unveiled its latest REFIBRA™ technology breakthrough, which features the industry’s first successful scaled production of virgin TENCEL™ Lyocell fibres using post-consumer cotton waste.
TENCEL™ Lyocell fibres with REFIBRA™ technology now feature up to 30% of recycled raw material content, where some post-consumer cotton waste is mixed with pre-consumer cotton waste.
Lenzing’s five-year vision is to raise the industry bar by producing fibres with REFIBRA™ technology by having up to 50% recycled content from post-consumer cotton waste to make textile waste recycling as common as paper recycling.
Lenzing Group announced on the 3rd December 2019 another breakthrough for its pioneering REFIBRA™ technology with the industry’s first successful production of TENCEL™ Lyocell fibres using post-consumer cotton waste as part of the recycled raw material proportion.
Currently, REFIBRA™ technology features the upcycling of a substantial proportion of pre-consumer cotton scraps from garment production and mixing with virgin wood pulp, to produce new TENCEL™ Lyocell fibres. In September 2019, Lenzing announced the first-phase of REFIBRA™ technology upgrade, by increasing the composition of pulp made from upcycled cotton scraps collected from garment manufacturing process to up to 30%. In the second-phase, amongst the 30% of recycled raw material content, Lenzing can incorporate up to 10% of post-consumer cotton waste into the mixture of recycled materials alongside pre-consumer cotton waste. TENCEL™ Lyocell fibres with REFIBRA™ technology are produced on demand and capacity can reach thousands of tons for both generations.
“Our world’s forests and climate need these kinds of Next Generation Solutions at both scale and speed in the cellulosic fibre sector. Canopy applauds Lenzing for the vision of making textile waste recycling commonplace and for launching this commercially available product line with the first steps of post-consumer recycled content,”
“We look forward to Lenzing’s leadership as they work to significantly increase the volume of their raw material that comes from Next Generation feed-stocks, and we know brands and retailers are looking to preference producers who hit the goal of a 50% post-consumer recycled fibre line first.”
said Nicole Rycroft, Executive Director of Canopy.
Tencel™ X Refibra™
Ingredients: FSC sourced Wood + Pre & Post Cotton scraps
Tencel™ | The Circular Economy
With growing interest around the concept of ‘circular economy’ across the globe, the scaled production of TENCEL™ Lyocell fibres using post-consumer cotton waste is a key milestone for Lenzing’s pursuit to build a fully sustainable textile ecosystem. The second phase upgrade of REFIBRA™ technology poses tremendous business opportunities and helps drive greater developments for the circular economy. Lenzing believes that the growing adoption of recycled textiles is an essential part of the fibre industry’s future growth strategy. Such frontier production model can help revolutionize the fashion industry and empower brands who are looking for eco-responsible textile value chains. It is the vision of Lenzing to make textile waste recycling a common process like paper recycling.
Sustainable Development Goals - Goal 12 | Responsible Consumption
Based on the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12, Responsible Consumption and Production, it is Lenzing’s clear vision to produce fibres with REFIBRA™ technology using post-consumer textile waste as raw materials. Being able to use discarded garments consisting of a wider range of materials will greatly enlarge the raw material basis for textile recycling. This innovation is a groundbreaking step towards tackling the global issue of textile waste disposal. At the same time, it reduces the extraction of wood as raw material and relieves the pressure on global forest ecosystems. Their vision includes recycling of fabrics and garments from Lenzing’s own materials. Lenzing is the first producer of wood-based cellulosic fibres offering Global Recycling Standard (GRS) and the Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) offering perfect transparency for the materials used during production.
'This innovation is a groundbreaking step towards tackling the global issue of textile waste disposal.'
Produced in the eco-responsible closed-loop production process, fibres produced using REFIBRA™ technology are 100% bio-based. The fibres will also feature properties of enhanced breathability through good moisture management, silky smoothness and strength.
By leveraging such innovative breakthrough, Lenzing has been working closely with brands and industry stakeholders to pursue a more collaborative driving force for the transition towards greater inclusive and circular economic growth.
“For several years, we have witnessed a rise of eco-consciousness amongst consumers. Consumers have been demanding more sustainable product options on their shopping list. If a company wants to truly improve its sustainability practice, it needs to reexamine its current business model and consider introducing new products or technologies with recyclability and reusability in mind. At Lenzing, sustainability is part of our DNA, and they will continue to stand at the industry forefront to assist businesses with the implementation of eco-practices in their operations,”
Florian Heubrandner, Vice President of Global Business Management Textiles of Lenzing.
TENCEL™ is the textile speciality brand under The Lenzing Group that covers textile speciality product fibre offerings for apparel and home. The TENCEL™ product brand portfolio defines a new evolutionary step in terms of sustainability, functional benefits, natural comfort and caters for distinctive everyday usage or application. Product brands under TENCEL™ include TENCEL™ Active, TENCEL™ Denim, TENCEL™ Home, TENCEL™ Intimate, TENCEL™ Luxe and TENCEL™ for Footwear.
Featuring botanic origin and biodegradable quality, TENCEL™ Modal and TENCEL™ Lyocell fibres can enhance the breathability of fabrics and have a minimal static charge when used in fabrics. Fabrics made of TENCEL™ Modal and Lyocell fibres are also gentle on skin with smooth, long-lasting softness, colour vibrancy and colour retention features. TENCEL™ Lyocell fibres are versatile and can be combined with a wide range of textile fibres to enhance the aesthetics and functionality of fabrics. Through moisture management, TENCEL™ Lyocell fibres can also absorb moisture efficiently. Exhibiting high flexibility, TENCEL™ Modal fibres enhance textiles with a naturally soft quality. Offering endless design possibilities, TENCEL8™ Modal fibres can be blended with other fibres and processed using conventional machinery, significantly improving the softness and comfort of fabrics.
Fibres used under the TENCEL™ brand are derived from certified and controlled sources following the stringent guidelines of the Lenzing Wood and Pulp Policy. Namely, TENCEL™ Modal and TENCEL™ Lyocell fibres, both cellulosic fibres are produced via environmentally responsible production processes and are compostable and biodegradable, thus can fully revert back to nature. TENCEL™ Modal and TENCEL™ Lyocell fibres are designated by the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) BioPreferred® Program.