IONCELL: Making Closed-loop Textiles from Wood Pulp and Waste Materials
The Ioncell team has developed a closed-loop process that converts cellulose, a natural polymer derived from plants, into fibres for textile production without the use of harmful chemicals.
Currently Ioncell’s technology uses virgin wood pulp as its main input, but once operational at scale the technology can utilise discarded textiles enabling a circular textile production system.
When producing circular materials it is crucial to have a good understanding of the value-chain requirements; a strategy for doing this, is to develop early on an advisory board with cross-sector stakeholders.
This case study illustrates the fact that technological innovation alone is insufficient to transform existing production systems; it needs to be supported by other system elements (e.g. political commitment that helps unlock the required funding sources).