Textile initiative 2021 – development of innovation projects

The development project is finished (the project ran between 30 April to 31 October 2021) 

The global demand for textile fibres is increasing rapidly. This constitutes a major societal challenge as the textile and fashion industry is one of the world’s most resource-intensive industries, and its environmental impact is extensive in several parts of the value chain. There is also great potential in the development of opportunities for textile recycling.

For 18 months, first through an area analysis of the textile field (link in Swedish), and then in a preliminary project, BioInnovation has developed the framework for a strategic initiative. This will contribute to Swedish industry being better ready to meet an increased demand for, and use of, bio-based textile materials with sights set on 2026. 

In the Pre-project for BioInnovation’s textile initiative 2021 project (link in Swedish), through interviews with a number of stakeholders in the industry, Hanna de la Motte and Erik Perzon have investigated how the stakeholders in the textile sector are currently working, how they view sustainability and how they would like a future project on textiles in BioInnovation to be designed. The preliminary projects were carried out in two parts, one on filament and fibre production, and one on the scope of characteristics and application areas for cellulose fibres. 

In order to lay the foundations for a well-targeted innovation project based on this work, BioInnovation is now starting a development project. 

The work in the development project will be conducted in two phases. Phase 1 will concentrate on deepening the dialogue with stakeholders and on establishing the specific requirements. Phase 2 will include continued consolidation, but it will also develop approaches in order to meet identified research and innovation demands. 

Why this is important 

There are several research and development areas for bio-based circular textiles. Sweden has raw materials for, and knowledge about bio-based textiles, and the country has also come a long way in the development of circular options for textile fibres. There is a clear group of stakeholders that can achieve national development, and in the forthcoming work additional stakeholders will also become involved. Currently therefore, there are favourable opportunities for designing a strategically targeted initiative in the form of an innovation project, that can contribute significantly to the further development of Swedish competitiveness in this area. 

Expected result 

An innovation project will be created and the starting point for the development work is the three areas identified in the preliminary work:

  • Chemical recycling of regenerated fibres.
  • Mechanical recycling.
  • Innovative fibre blends and yarn spinning techniques. 

The BioInnovation Programme Board is expected to decide on a concrete project proposal in October.

Project leaders

Erik Perzon och Hanna de la Motte

Erik Perzon, IVL och Hanna de la Motte, RISE. Photographer: Johan Olsson

The development of the Innovation Project will be led by Hanna de la Motte, RISE, e-mail: hanna.delamotte@ri.se and Erik Perzon, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, e-mail: erik.perzon@ivl.se.

Steering Committes

Cecilia Tall – TEKO
Mikael Danielsson – Albany International
Lena-Marie Jensen – The Swedish School of Textiles
Sören Östlund – Royal Institute of Technology
Anna Wiberg – Bioinnovation