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Call for early adopters of climate positive yarn

Cellulosic biopolymers bind carbon from the atmosphere during growth, while generating oxygen.

26th October 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Zurich, Switzerland

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

HeiQ’s AeoniQ – a high performance cellulose yarn based on a new fibre derived from carbon negative, third generation cellulosic biopolymers – is advancing to pilot production prior to mass commercialisation.

Conventional cellulosic fibre production uses arable land during growth and has limited design versatility, while raw materials for fossil-based synthetic materials are finite, the company, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, points out. Existing methods to recycle textile fabrics and garments made with all fibres are, for the most part, still not at scale and most fibres – whether synthetic or natural – take many years to degrade in landfills or oceans, leading to environmental build up.

The cellulosic biopolymers used for AeoniQ yarns bind carbon from the atmosphere during growth while generating oxygen, and as a consequence, the high-performance yarn is positioned to potentially substitute synthetic filament yarns. Further, when compared to conventional cellulosic products, AeoniQ yarns do not draw on arable land, pesticides or fertilizer in their production.

The yarns are designed for cradle-to-cradle circularity and can be recycled repeatedly while maintaining consistent fibre quality. The manufacturing process is expected to consume 99% less water than cotton yarns and AeoniQ is designed to offer comparable performance properties to polyester, nylon and conventional regenerated cellulose yarns.

The Lycra Company is joining HeiQ as a development partner and a maximum of 20 sustainability-driven brand partners are now being invited to be the first to market with products made from the new yarn.

The company expects to deliver the first AeoniQ yarns from the pilot production plant in the second quarter of 2022.

 “Climate change needs new inventions,” says HeiQ co-founder and CEO Carlo Centonze. “By bringing HeiQ AeoniQ yarn to the textile industry we will reduce our dependence on oil-based fibres, help decarbonize our planet and reduce the impact of the industry on climate change. By wearing clothes made of AeoniQ consumers can act in support of reducing C02 in the atmosphere. Adoption by billions of people offers the potential to bind hundreds of millions of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. A battle worth the fight.”

“This technology is the game changer for the whole textile industry,”  adds Martin Gebert-Germ, a viscose filament yarn expert with 30 years of experience in the textile industry who will join the newly-established HeiQ GmbH Austria as CEO and will be leading the AeoniQ business from November 2021.

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