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MAS Holdings agrees to offtake for HeiQ AeoniQ

Agreement will accelerate plans for a 30,000-ton production plant by 2026.

10th July 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Zürich, Switzerland

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

MAS Holdings, a global apparel and textile manufacturing and tech conglomerate headquartered in Sri Lanka, with a global footprint across 16 countries, has secured a stake in HeiQ AeoniQ, a subsidiary of the Swiss HeiQ Group, to support the development of next-generation cellulosic filament fibres to replace polyester and nylon.

The investment is part of the MAS  strategy to drive a positive environmental impact – its Plan for Change aims to generate 50% of revenue through sustainable products by 2025, with a focus on sustainable sourcing and pioneering circularity at scale.

HeiQ and MAS have agreed a five-year offtake agreement for 3,000 tons of HeiQ AeoniQ yarn in 2025 and 5,000 tons per year from 2026 to 2029.

HeiQ AeoniQ technology has been attracting the attention of major global players in the textile and clothing industries since its launch at the end of 2021.

With the proprietary manufacturing method, a cellulosic filament yarn can be made from a wide range of non-valorised feedstocks and is able to reproduce comparable performance features of polyester or nylon, while being sustainable and endlessly circular.

The HeiQ AeoniQ pilot plant in Austria is manufacturing the yarn, with an annual 100 tons capacity to be upscaled to 300 tons by the end of 2023.

The production scale-up is then planned to have its definitive boost by early 2026 with the construction of an entirely new gigafactory capable of a 30,000-ton output per year, in a €250 million investment.

“With the introduction of HeiQ AeoniQ, we are solidifying our unwavering commitment to disrupting the textile industry – a sector that has long held the dubious distinction of being the world’s second-largest polluter,” said HeiQ Group CEO Carlo Centonze. “The investment serves as resounding proof that leading textiles value chain players recognise HeiQ AeoniQ as the ultimate game-changer.”

“As a global organisation nurturing over 100,000 individuals, we are convinced of our responsibility to drive positive change within the apparel industry through sustainable product solutions,” added MAS Holdings CEO Suren Fernando. “We believe that this investment is an important step in our efforts to reshape our industry by driving innovation, collaboration, and scale.”

Polyester and nylon, both oil-based fibres and virtually non-recyclable, account for about 70% of all the global textile production, HeiQ says. They take between 350 to 1000 years to degrade in nature, are currently close loop recycled at less than 1%, and are the origin of 35% of the microplastics that can be found in today’s oceans.

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