Circular fashion and textile technology company Infinited Fiber Company has secured investments of 30 million euros ($35.53 million) in its latest financing round completed on June 30.
The round also brought Infinited Fiber new investors, including sportswear company Adidas, Invest FWD A/S–Bestseller’s investment arm for sustainable fashion–and investment company Security Trading Oy. Among the existing investors contributing to the round of financing were fashion retailer H&M Group, which was the lead investor, investment company Nidoco AB and Sateri, considered the world’s largest viscose producer and a member of the RGE group of companies.
This securement of new funding follows Infinited Fiber’s April announcement of plans to build a flagship factory in Finland in response to the strong growth in demand from global fashion and textile brands for its regenerated textile fiber Infinna. The factory, which will use household textile waste as raw material, is expected to be operational in 2024 and to have an annual production capacity of 30,000 metric tons. The new funding enables Infinited Fiber to carry out the work needed to prepare for the flagship factory investment and to increase production at its pilot facilities through 2024.
“These new investments enable us to proceed at full speed with the pre-engineering, environmental permits and the recruitment of the skilled professionals needed to take our flagship project forward,” Infinited Fiber co-founder and CEO Petri Alava said. “We can now also boost production at our pilot facilities so that we can better serve our existing customers and grow our customer-base in preparation for both our flagship factory and for the future licensees of our technology.”
H&M Group was one of Infinited Fiber Company’s earliest investors, first contributing funds in 2019.
“We’re thrilled to continue our journey with Infinited Fiber Company by further investing in them,” Nanna Andersen, head of H&M CO:LAB, H&M Group, said. “To be joined by other global brands clearly speaks to the shared belief in the scalability of their technology, as well as the team behind it. More importantly, it also shows the huge potential that their regenerated textile fiber has in driving the industry toward a more sustainable fashion future.”
H&M Group has also signed a multiyear sales deal with Infinited Fiber to secure its access to agreed amounts of Infinna from the planned flagship factory. New investor Bestseller has struck a similar sales deal with Infinited Fiber.
“We are very excited about this collaboration and hope to build a strong and long-lasting partnership with Infinited Fiber Company, both as an investor and as a business partner,” Lise Kaae, a member of the board at Invest FWD, said. “Infinited Fiber Company has an opportunity to close the loop in the fashion industry with textile-to-textile recycling, which is a great match for Invest FWD’s aspiration to support the entire fashion ecosystem and Bestseller’s sustainability strategy Fashion FWD through strategic investments.”
Katja Schreiber, senior vice president of sustainability at Adidas, said the company’s intensified cooperation with Infinited Fiber forms part of its strategic ambition to have nine out of 10 products made from sustainable materials by 2025. Schreiber said the company already uses more than 60 percent recycled polyester and is aiming to be entirely virgin polyester-free by 2024.
“We believe that impact-at-scale in sustainability will require strong collaboration and look forward to pushing boundaries in cellulose-based materials together with Infinited Fiber Company,” she said.
In addition to strong interest by global fashion leaders, the technology has significant promise for major textile fiber producers.
“Sateri is excited to continue to invest in and collaborate with Infinited Fiber Company as part of our long-term commitment toward closed-loop, circular and climate-positive cellulosic fibers,” Allen Zhang, president of Sateri, said. “This financing round marks a major milestone for our collaboration in scaling up next-generation fiber solutions.”
Infinited Fiber Company’s flagship plant preparations are also proceeding on other fronts. Several Nordic and international investment banks have given Infinited Fiber Company proposals on the financing options for the investment.
Infinited Fiber’s technology turns cellulose-based raw materials, like cotton-rich textile waste, into Infinna, a premium-quality regenerated textile fiber with the natural, soft look and feel of cotton. Infinna is biodegradable and contains no microplastics, and at the end of their life, garments made with it can be recycled in the same process together with other textile waste.
The company, headquartered in Espoo, Finland, noted that more than 92 million metric tons of textile waste are produced globally every year and most of this ends up in landfills or incinerators. At the same time, textile fiber demand is increasing. Textile Exchange estimates the global textile fiber market to grow 30 percent to 146 million metric tons by 2030 from 111 million metric tons in 2019. Infinited Fiber Company’s fiber regeneration technology, which can use multiple cellulose-rich waste streams as its raw material, offers a solution both to stop waste from being wasted and to reduce the burden of the textile industry on the planet’s limited natural resources.