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Investor steps up to save Renewcell

Current inventory of Circulose pulp and fibre is ready to meet market demands, supported by a dedicated supplier network.

4th June 2024

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Sweden

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

Swedish investment firm Altor has announced the acquisition of Renewcell, the pioneering textile recycling venture which declared bankruptcy in February this year and will now operate under the name Circulose.

Circulose pulp is so far the only material that has been produced at scale from 100% textile waste, based on a closed-loop, chemical recycling process. The patented process is unique and has the potential to make the textiles and apparel circular and contribute to a shift to a low-carbon economy. The material is produced in a strategically located factory in Ortviken, Sweden, a region with historically significant know-how from the pulp and paper industry.

Altor’s acquisition marks a new chapter for the company and  secure financing ensuring it will continue to thrive on a global scale.

“We don’t shy away from a challenge and this one is worth taking, both for the uniqueness of the patented technology and the urgency of scaling circular solutions for the entire textile and fashion industry,” said Clara Zverina, principal at Altor. “We are determined to partner with key stakeholders across the value chain to unlock the potential of Circulose together.”

“The current inventory of Circulose pulp and fibre is ready to meet market demands, supported by our dedicated Circulose Supplier Network (CSN) partners who continue to provide high-quality materials,” added Magnus Lundmark, Circulose CEO. “We extend our deepest gratitude to our customers, partners and stakeholders for their unwavering support and collaboration during this journey. Together, we will continue to drive positive change, leveraging Altor’s expertise and resources to enhance our capabilities and secure a confident future for Circulose and the broader textile community.”

Canopy support

 A rally from many brand partners of Canopy, the association working with brands to preserve ancient and endangered forests, helped build the path forward for Circulose. This included over 30 letters from brands expressing an intent to purchase Circulose products and an industry collaboration to streamline the initial supply chain. Agreeing on matters such as optimising one blend has helped to prime the value chain, setting the flagship material up for stronger adoption.

“We were confident that the phoenix would rise from the ashes,” said Nicole Rycroft, Canopy’s executive director. “The fashion value chain is now better primed to ensure these innovations have an easier path to market and scale. We are excited that Altor’s investment provides all of us with a second chance. Kudos to the many brands, producers and suppliers across the value chain who stepped forward over the past three months to demonstrate the demand and commitment for low-carbon next generation solutions like Circulose.”

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