At Birla Cellulose, we have a structured process not just for fibre innovations and but also for development of new fabrics ( Knitted / Woven) for different application to ensure differentiated functionality /product offering . 

New fibre development is an initiative driven by scientific research. Our R&D centres like Aditya Birla Science and Technology Centre (ABSTC), and the Fibre Research Centre (FRC), are premier research and development centres focused on product innovations and process improvements for Man Made Cellulosic Fibres. 

Textile Research and Development Centre (TRADC) brings innovation to the textile and fashion industry. TRADC offers services that assist our value chain partners in bringing cellulose fibre products to market and at the same time handhold and scale up with value chain.

In addition, LIVA’s in house design team comes out with Seasonal Collections which are based on WGSN trends and inputs from Premiere Vision.

Research methodology you apply for Innovation 

Our research focus is on developing and introducing premium differentiated products, offering enhanced value proposition. All our innovations are backed by continuous quality improvement & environmental sustainability of our products. This is accomplished by managing a pipeline of projects that address near-term and mid-term needs, as well as exploration of future opportunities and be ready for next level value chain & consumer expectations.

We have well-equipped state-of-the art research facilities to support innovations across the development spectrum. The Aditya Birla Science and Technology Centre conducts fundamental investigations using sophisticated analytical instruments and computational tools. The Pulp and Fibre Innovation Centre spearheads conceptual bench-scale research on fibre innovations. The Fibre Research Centre (FRC) houses a pilot plant that is a smaller replica of our production lines, and enables our scientists to convert their ideas into scalable implementable innovations. The Textile Research and Development Centre (TRADC) develops innovative textile solutions and offers opportunities for our scientists to transform fibers and yarns into exciting new fabric offerings. 

Process Innovation in fibre and yarns 

An unwavering focus on enhancing Customer Experience has driven us towards the timely launch of several key Specialty products. Amidst heightened hygiene concerns owing to Covid-19, we quickly established the anti-viral performance of Antimicrobial fibres by Birla Cellulose, and facilitated its availability through three fibre plants commercially. 

Through the launch of Liva Reviva, we now offer viscose fibres made partially from cotton waste. By up-cycling cotton waste otherwise destined for low-end applications, incineration or use in land-fills, Liva Reviva serves the pressing global challenge of textile circularity and waste reduction. Liva Reviva thus enables the consumers to be consciously fashionable.

Livaeco by Birla Cellulose™ is an eco-enhanced fashion ingredient derived from FSC® certified natural renewable resources following globally acceptable principles of Sustainable Forestry Management that ensures green cover and no harm to endangered forest. Livaeco by Birla Cellulose is our offering of a rich bouquet of sustainability features while retaining the fashion quotient. Garments made with Livaeco by Birla Cellulose contains a unique molecular tracer which helps the end buyer to trace the origin and entire journey of fibre to garment with the help of a QR code.

Approach on sustainability and development of products 

We are not only committed to deliver sustainable solutions but also help and extend value to our customers and stakeholders to enable the sustainability journey. We aggressively pursue initiatives to reduce the environmental footprint of our products. Our principal raw material – wood – is sourced from sustainably managed forests that not only continually regenerate the raw material from wood, but also act as great sinks for the absorption of GHG emissions. Furthermore, wood does not require added fertilizers or pesticides, which are necessary for other natural fibres, and which could cause significant land and groundwater pollution. 

Our commitment to sustainability was recognized by Canopy, and we are ranked no. 1 globally for our wood sourcing practices and has been accorded with ‘dark green shirt’ rating, highest category, as per their annual publication in 2020. The top ranking in the environmental report reflects the company’s relentless attempt to improve sustainable wood sourcing practices, conservation of forests, innovations in development of next generation fibre solutions and transparency across its value chain.  

We are amongst the lowest consumers of water in the viscose process. Employing the 4R principles, we challenge ourselves to continuously reduce our water consumption. Our site in Vilayat is EU BAT compliant, and we at Birla Cellulose are working towards achieving EU BAT compliance in all of our other plants by end of 2022. We also have benchmarked verified scores in Higg (3.0) FEM which is a sustainability assessment tool that standardizes how facilities measure and evaluate their environmental performance, year over year.

Consumer mind set for LIVA and initiatives for B2B partners 

In 2015, we launched a fashion ingredient brand LIVA for our cellulosic fibre offerings (Viscose) in consumer space with a differentiated value proposition of natural fluid fashion in India. We have been consistently nurturing LIVA and its variants (Livaeco by Birla Cellulose, Antimicrobial by LIVA) with concerted brand building initiatives (360 0 marketing across ATL, BTL & Digital) to create consumer pull since its launch. Our efforts have yielded results as more than 50% of fashion forward women who buy from apparel retail brands in India are now aware of LIVA and associate premium fashion imagery with it. Alongside our own brand building, we also collaborate with top retailers every season to co-market the collection made with LIVA based fabrics to further build our brand awareness and fashion image association with end garments consumers buy from these brands.

The above initiatives have inspired brand & retail in India to adopt more LIVA based merchandise in their collections every season. Currently LIVA is available in 40+ retailers across 3500+ stores spread across 220 + cities nationally with 50 million tags annually.

Livaeco by Birla Cellulose – our eco- enhanced offering with stronger eco credentials has also found favor both in India and globally with leading players across the globe are adopting Livaeco by Birla Cellulose in their collections.

For the B2B partners (Value Chain Partners), the team closely works with partners and promotes their innovation through LAPF Studios. Strategic hub development meets are organised for creating awareness about LIVA and its possibilities in various applications. Support for on boarding on major e-commerce platforms is a “last mile connect” initiative by our team benefiting most of the category partners.


Author:

Mr. ManMohan Singh

President – Marketing and Business Development, Birla Cellulose