Kelheim Fibres, a producer of viscose speciality fibres, has become a member of Recycling Atelier Augsburg. Recycling Atelier Augsburg is a one-of-a-kind research and development centre for textile recycling. It is housed at the Institut für Textiltechnik Augsburg, a branch of the Augsburg University of Applied Sciences. Together with twelve partners from the German textile industry, the two institutions established the Recycling Atelier in June 2022.

“As a model factory, the Recycling Atelier Augsburg combines the most important textile recycling processes and offers holistic and comprehensive research along the value chain,” explains Georg Stegschuster, the Recycling Atelier Augsburg’s director.The scientists conduct research on all aspects of textile recycling, including material analysis, sorting, preparation, and textile processing, as well as sustainable product design. Comprehensive Data collection and artificial intelligence, as well as innovative materials, are critical.

Kelheim Fibres is a manufacturer of high-quality viscose fibres, which are made from cellulose, the main component of the renewable raw material wood, and are used in products such as hygiene, textiles, and technical applications around the world.”In New Business Development as well as Fibre and Application Development, we follow the Open Innovation concept – the cooperation with the Recycling Atelier offers us an ideal platform for this. “At Kelheim Fibres, we collaborate with partners to advance sustainability and performance,” says Maik Thiel, project manager.

Recycled cotton fibres are frequently very short or uneven in length, making further processing of 100% recycled material difficult. This is the case. This is where Kelheim Fibres’ specialty fibres come into play, enabling the production of high-quality new products such as nonwovens. In the future, Kelheim Fibres’ fibres will also be made from recycled pulp. Continuing to close the loop.

The Recycling Atelier focuses on the trinity of technical, ecological, and economic benefits. In this way, the Recycling Atelier’s partners are taking a stand against fast fashion, outsourced corporate responsibility, and a general decline in raw material quality, which often fuels downcycling – the low-quality reuse – of materials.