Web Exclusive | April 2019
Ioncell tech creates eco fibres from birch trees
With clothing production leading the world as one of the highest-polluting industries, a new fibre contradicts the earth-damaging qualities of traditional materials. Ioncell technology, developed at Aalto University and the University of Helsinki, uses a range of materials, including wood, recycled newspaper, cardboard and old cotton to make fabric. This is good news for an environment scarred by cotton production and the development of synthetic fibres. The new and improved material can also be recycled at the end of its life cycle, significantly reducing clothing waste.
In a country already acutely aware of sustainable practices in forest management, the trees sourced from Finland offer a much lower carbon footprint than traditional clothing. Ioncell materials also protect the water supply by using ionic liquid in place of harsh chemicals.
While the designers focus on sustainable sourcing and manufacturing, the clothing also avoids contributing to a massive post-consumer waste problem. That’s because the fibers are biodegradable. Additionally, the fibers do not contain any harmful microfibres now associated with massive ocean pollution and damage to sea life.