Bright Future of Cellulose Fibers in Textile, Hygiene, Construction & Packaging

Cellulose fibres are the only bio-based and biodegradable fibres that cover a wide range of properties and applications and can rapidly increase their capacity. The raw materials can be virgin wood as well as all types of cellulosic waste streams from forestry, agriculture, cotton processing, textile and paper. Increasing the share of cellulose fibres will therefore play a crucial role in solving the sustainability challenges of the textile industry.

The “Cellulose Fibres Conference 2024” held in Cologne on 13-14 March demonstrated the innovative power of the cellulose fibre industry. Several projects and scale-ups for textiles, hygiene products, construction and packaging showed the growth and bright future of this industry, supported by the policy framework to reduce single-use plastic products, such as the Single Use Plastics Directive (SUPD) in Europe.

40 international speakers presented the latest market trends in their industry and illustrated the innovation potential of cellulose fibres. Leading experts introduced new technologies for the recycling of cellulose-rich raw materials and gave insights into circular economy practices in the fields of textiles, hygiene, construction and packaging. All presentations were followed by exciting panel discussions with active audience participation including numerous questions and comments from the audience in Cologne and online. Once again, the Cellulose Fibres Conference proved to be an excellent networking opportunity to the 214 participants and 23 exhibitors from 27 countries.

For the fourth time, nova-Institute has awarded the “Cellulose Fiber Innovation of the Year” Award at the Cellulose Fibers Conference. The Innovation Award recognises applications and innovations that will lead the way in the industry’s transition to sustainable fiber. Close race between the nominees – “The Straw Flexi-Dress” by DITF & VRETENA (Germany), cellulose textile fiber from unbleached straw pulp, is the winning cellulose fiber innovation 2024, followed by HONEXT (Spain) with the “HONEXT® Board FR-B (B-s1, d0)” from fiber waste from the paper industry, while TreeToTextile (Sweden) with their “New Generation of Bio-based and Resource-efficient Fiber” won third place.

Prior to the event, the conference advisory board had nominated six remarkable innovations for the award. The nominees were neck and neck, when the winners were elected in a live vote by the audience on the first day of the conference. The Innovation Award “Cellulose Fibre Innovation of the Year 2024” was kindly sponsored by GIG Karasek.

DITF & VRETENA (Germany): The Straw Flexi-Dress – Design Meets Sustainability

The Flexi-Dress design was inspired by the natural golden color and silky touch of HighPerCell® (HPC) filaments based on unbleached straw pulp. These cellulose filaments are produced using environmentally friendly spinning technology in a closed-loop production process. The design decisions focused on the emotional connection and attachment to the HPC material to create a local and circular fashion product. The Flexi-Dress is designed as a versatile knitted garment – from work to street – that can be worn as a dress, but can also be split into two pieces – used separately as a top and a straight skirt. The top can also be worn with the V-neck front or back.

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