Climate Action

EU-funded ‘New Cotton Project’ launched to create circular fashion

A new ground-breaking project has been launched to harnesses collaboration and cutting-edge technology to create circular fashion.

  • 25 November 2020
  • Madeline Watkiss

A new ground-breaking project has been launched to harnesses collaboration and cutting-edge technology to create circular fashion.

Twelve pioneering brands in the fashion and textile industry are breaking new ground by forging ahead in sustainability and creating a circular model for commercial garment production.

This is a world first for the fashion industry. The consortium of brands, manufacturers, suppliers and innovators participating in the European Union-Funded ‘New Cotton Project’ will prove that circular, sustainable fashion can be achieved today.

Making sustainable products commonplace, reducing waste and leading global efforts on circularity are outlined in the European Commission’s EU Circular Economy Action Plan as necessary for Europe’s efforts to drive sustainable growth.

The project has received €6,745,801.25 in funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

The project aims to act as an inspiration, setting an example for even further and bigger circular initiatives in the fashion industry going forward.

Over a three-year period, textile waste will be collected, sorted and regenerated into the Finnish biotechnology group Infinited Fiber Company, who will turn it into their unique cellulose-based textile fibres.

These fibres will be used to create different types of fabric for clothing to be designed and manufactured by key brands including adidas and companies in the H&M Group.

Manufacturers Inovafil, Tekstina and Kipas will used these regenerated fibres to produce yarns, woven fabrics and denim respectively whilst adidas and companies in the H&M Group will design, manufacture and sell clothes made from the fabrics.

‘New Cotton Project’ aims to contribute to a circular economy in which textiles never go to waste, but are reused, recycled or regenerated into new garments instead.

Infinited Fiber Company, whose patented technology can regenerate textile waste into unique fibres that look and feel like cotton, is leading the consortium of 12 companies and organisations into the project.

Infinited Fiber Co-founder and CEO Petri Alava, said: “We are very excited and proud to lead this product, which is breaking new ground when it comes to making circularity in the textile industry a reality”

“The enthusiasm and commitment from companies in the entire consortium is truly inspiring.”

Fashion brands produce nearly twice as many clothes as they did 20 years ago and the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned every second. Most of the textile industries environmental problems are related to the raw materials used by the industry, which require vast areas of agricultural land, unsustainable amounts of water and use polluting fertilizers. 

The New Cotton Project is a direct response to these problems, offering a valuable solution for textile waste and proposing an alternative to the industries reliance on their raw materials, creating sustainable and circular fashion. 

Find out more information here.