Lenzing, ARA, Salesianer Miettex, Caritas and Södra are joining forces to drive forward the transition to circularity. Here, Lenzing AG, Lenzing/Austria, has taken another big step towards achieving a circular future in collaboration with several partners. Austrian companies and not-for-profit organizations, including Lenzing’s logistics and sorting partner Altstoff Recycling Austria AG (ARA), the textile service provider Salesianer Miettex GmbH, both Vienna/Austria, and Caritas, Pöchlarn/Austria, as well as the pulp producer Södra, Växjö/Sweden, have joined forces to collect used household and clothing textiles for reprocessing to produce pulp and, ultimately, new lyocell and viscose fibers.
»One company alone cannot solve the pressing problem of textile waste. Proactive partnerships such as these allow us to make progress and accomplish real systemic change.«
Sonja Zak, Head of Textile Sourcing & Cooperations, Lenzing Group
In this pilot project, used textiles collected by Salesianer Miettex that are not suitable for reuse will be passed on to ARA, before being delivered to Caritas for sorting by hand at a recycling plant. The Caritas recycling facility provides secure employment to more than 70 people with disabilities. After the sorting process, the textiles will be delivered to Södra for recycling and processing to produce OnceMore pulp. This method is a forerunner in the industrial recycling of textile waste made from blended fibers. Lenzing will then apply its innovative Refibra technology to produce new lyocell and viscose fibers.
The transition to a truly circular economy requires collaboration between several parties. Lenzing and Södra have been working together on textile recycling since 2021, making an important contribution to the promotion of circularity in the fashion industry. In the course of their cooperation, the companies plan to share their knowledge and jointly develop methods to facilitate the broader use of cellulose-based used textiles on an industrial scale. The further developed OnceMore pulp will then be used for various purposes, including as a raw material for the production of Lenzing’s specialty fibers under the Tencel brand fibers with Refibra technology. The aim is to reach an annual processing capacity of 50,000 tons of textile waste by 2027.
Lenzing has been developing future-proof innovations in recycling for years, including its Refibra and Eco Cycle technologies. Beside the use of pure dissolving wood pulp, these technologies enable the processing of a large proportion of recycling material that is derived from cutting scraps in cotton production and second-hand clothing.
OnceMore = registered trademark
Refibra, Tencel = trademarks