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Icebreaker and Spinnova to develop circular mid-layer products

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

13 Oct 2021

Fashion

Image: courtesy of Spinnova

New Zealand-based Icebreaker is teaming up with material tech company Spinnova to developing fully circular mid-layer products out of merino wool and Spinnova fibre.

The VF-owned, ethical and sustainable natural performance apparel brand is working with Spinnova on a joint sustainability journey to develop a mid-layer product with a minimal environmental footprint while still offering high performance.

The product features merino wool, a natural, renewable and biodegradable fibre, which is combined with Spinnova to make the fibre fully circular, as the developed yarn can be separated and reused without needing to add new raw material. Spinnova fibre also has strong insulation properties, which makes it a great companion for merino wool.

This means that the blend Spinnova and Icebreaker are now piloting for mid-layer products is sustainable, comfortable, and fully circular. After consumer use, the developed yarn can be separated and reused, “with the ambition to get one step closer to circularity and lowering the products’ impact on the environment,” explain both companies in a statement.

In addition, Spinnova is made without harmful chemicals and uses 99.5 percent less water and produces 65 percent less CO2 emissions than cotton production from cradle to gate. Due to the mechanical process, Spinnova uses to harness its raw material, wood pulp, the fibres can simply be remade mechanically, again without harmful chemicals or quality loss.

Spinnova team up with VF-brand Icebreaker to develop circular mid-layer performance products

Spinnova chief executive and co-founder Janne Poranen, said: “We’re very proud of this collaboration, and excited to keep experimenting how Spinnova can fight climate change as both a sustainable new material and a disruptively circular new material that can be remade over and over again.”

Image: courtesy of Spinnova

The partnership also shows how versatile the Spinnova fibre is, as it can replace and complement various materials from outdoor use to everyday wear and high fashion. Previously, Spinnova has been blended with cotton, and Spinnova and Ecco’s partner KT Trading are in the process of producing fibre from leather waste.

Alistair Smith, director of global product design at Icebreaker, added: “Nature is our hero, and our source of inspiration – we were excited to learn about Spinnova’s approach to fibre spinning that mimics nature’s own processes.

“In addition to this shared source of inspiration, the potential to recycle Spinnova into a new fibre again and again makes this disruptively circular. This partnership enables our strategy in developing circular business models and drive forward sustainable design.”

Icebreaker is the second VF Corp brand to collaborate with Spinnova. Earlier this year the Finnish sustainable textile material company signed a development agreement with The North Face to develop new, sustainable, high-performance textiles for the outdoor apparel category.