Singapore-based RGE Pte Ltd has joined a group of investors including H&M Group, Virala and Fortum to help Infinited Fiber Company Oy (IFC) scale up its technology that turns textile waste and other pulp-based materials into new textile fibres. A strategic co-operation agreement was also signed between RGE and IFC to commercialise the startup’s technology.
Since early 2018, IFC has been operating a 50-ton per annum pilot plant in Espoo, Finland, that produces Infinited Fiber for testing purposes with global brand owners such as H&M, VF Corporation and their manufacturers. Recently, the company leased production facilities in Valkeakoski city, Southern Finland, for a new pre-commercial 500-ton per annum plant and customer training centre that will start up in early 2020, said IFC in a press release.
“This new investment amount, the largest single IFC has received to date, supplements the earlier partnerships with H&M Group, Virala and Fortum, we announced in April this year. We are delighted to have RGE on board as a strategic partner as we can apply what we learn from their global operations to accelerate our plan to bring our technology to large-scale manufacturing,” said Petri Alava, CEO of IFC. “This new financing will enable us to finalise the scaling of the technology and to extend our fibre production capacity to enable global leading brands to bring capsule collections to the markets in 2020.”
“RGE is keen to support innovative next-generation solutions that can be applied at industrial scale. IFC’s technology is exciting as it brings together the use of recycled feedstock and clean solvent in a circular fashion to produce fibres. Our viscose business groups, Sateri and Asia Pacific Rayon, collectively produce about 1.4 million tons of viscose annually using raw materials from renewable plantations. As a leading viscose producer, we strive to continually seek solutions to improve the sustainability performance of our manufacturing practices and products,” said Tey Wei Lin, president of RGE. IFC has raised €8 million of funds this year, including €1.96 million recently awarded by the European Innovation Council (EIC).
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