TreeToTextile is a purpose-driven technology development company based in Sweden. The aim is to accelerate the development of sustainable textile fibers and to reduce the textile industry’s environmental impact on global level.
The company contributes via developing and commercializing a new sustainable textile fiber, and by taking part in industry related efforts for sustainable raw material production and circular economy. TreeToTextile is a member of Textile Exchange, and is a supporting organization to the Fashion charter by United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in its Raw materials working group.
- The new TreeToTextile fiber is a regenerated cellulosic fiber, sustainably produced and sourced from renewable raw materials from sustainably managed forests.
- The fiber has high versatility and is assessed and deemed suitable for a broad range of market applications. Its fiber properties and hand-feel are of a natural fiber, with similarities to both cotton and viscose.
- The TreeToTextile technology is a textile fiber process. It is a wet-spinning process for regenerating cellulose into staple fibers, ready for further industrial textile manufacturing processes, like spinning into yarn for the textile industry.
- The process treats wood-based dissolving pulp in a cold alkaline solution, transforming it into a cellulosic solution, a spin-dope, which is spun into long filaments and cut into staple fibers. The process includes a recovery system that reuses the water and chemicals.
- The process is developed to achieve a fiber that has a strong sustainability profile, is scalable, and can be produced at a low manufacturing cost. It is designed to have low energy demand and low chemical consumption.
- The technology is invented in Sweden, and before global commercialization, the process will be further refined in an industrial-sized demonstration plant.
- The technology of TreeToTextile is protected by several patents.
The Sustainability Performance
- The cellulose, as raw material, is biobased and from renewable sources. The chemicals used in the process are standard bulk chemicals, commonly used in the traditional process industry and compliant with EU REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) legislation.
- The process chemicals are restored and recycled within the process.
- Looking at the sustainability targets, when benchmarked to the production of conventional textile fibers, the TreeToTextile technology would mean less use of energy, chemicals, and water. It is assessed vs conventional viscose process to enable reduction of at least 33 percent energy, at least 80 percent lower water usage, and at least 70 percent less chemicals. Compared to market average cotton, it would mean significantly lower water consumption, and no use of pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. TreeToTextile is still refining its process and with the help of the demonstration plant, the intent is to further optimize the environmental performance and minimize energy and chemical use.
- TreeToTextile has performed a Life-Cycle-Assessment study (LCA by Hildenbrand & Roos (2020)), which has been third-party verified by Quantis (2021)*. The data points are based on current operations in pilot scale, which are modelled into industrial scale figures, and compared with available published LCA data.
Sustainable sourcing of cellulose:
- TreeToTextile promotes the use of cellulose from sustainably sourced and managed forests, such as FSC or PEFC certified. This wood is 100% traceable to its origins, the forests harvested in productive areas are replanted, and biodiversity is preserved by for example protecting valuable areas and species.
- TreeToTextile advocates a global forest positive development, i.e., sustainable forest management that aims to eliminate forest degradation and deforestation, and ensure protection, restoration and regeneration, as well as regenerative projects on degraded land, deforested areas, and agriculturally cultivated areas.
*Review statement by Quantis (2021)