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Finnish Firms Marimekko and Spinnova Team Up for Innovative Wood-Based Fiber

Finland’s Marimekko and Spinnova are cooperating to develop and market new, wood-based textiles.

Marimekko, known for original prints and colors in its product portfolio of apparel, accessories and home décor goods, is supporting Spinnova in developing and commercializing textiles made with pulp-based fiber spun with Spinnova’s technology. Spinnova is converting wood pulp directly into fiber without using chemical solvents. Marimekko’s involvement helps the end products fulfill the industry’s quality and sustainability requirements.

Increasing the proportion of the more sustainable Better Cotton Initiative cotton and environmentally friendly materials is a key objective of Marimekko’s sustainability strategy. The company said it wants to invest in materials that are increasingly consistent with the principles of sustainable development, which points to its involvement in developing and testing new materials.

[Read more about fiber innovation: New Denim Fiber and Fabric Innovations to Increase Jeans’ Appeal]

“We believe that cooperation between the textile industry and innovative companies such as Spinnova is key in bringing new materials to the market,” said Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko, president and chief executive officer of Marimekko. “We have been involved in material research for years and have paid close attention to developments in this area. It is great to see that such globally significant expertise and technology needed for material development exist in Finland.”

Spinnova’s said its manufacturing method uses about 99 percent less water than cotton production. A fabric made with Spinnova fiber can be reused, recycled or composted, which further reduces the product’s environmental footprint.

”The textile industry’s view is pivotal in developing and commercializing our product. We see our cooperation with Marimekko providing us with the valuable expert knowledge and industry know-how that we need to help us expedite the global commercialization of our ecological product,” added Spinnova CEO Janne Poranen.

The wood fiber manufacturing method was originally developed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, and Spinnova has continued to develop the technique. One of Spinnova’s partners is Austria-based Lenzing AG, one of the world’s largest wood-based fiber manufacturers, with products including Tencel, modal and viscose.