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Woodspin opens first Spinnova plant

Aim is to build annual production capacity to one million tons by 2033.

5th June 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Finland

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

Finnish sustainable textile pioneer Spinnova and Suzano – the world’s largest pulp producer – have officially opened their first commercial-scale facility producing wood-based Spinnova fibre. Operated by Woodspin, a joint venture between the two companies, the plant will produce 1,000 tons of sustainable, recyclable and fully biodegradable textile fibres from responsibly-grown wood each year.

This facility is the first industrial operation for Suzano outside Brazil and Woodspin has also announced plans to open a second site to further scale production. The aim is to build annual production capacity to one million tons of Spinnova fibre by 2033.

“At Woodspin we are bringing Spinnova’s innovative biodegradable textile fibre to the market, made using Suzano’s abundant supply of responsibly-sourced eucalyptus pulp,” said Christian Orglmeister, executive director of new business at Suzano. ”This has a radically lower environmental impact than alternative fibres such as cotton, offering one of the few genuinely scalable solutions to support sustainable production. We’re excited to ramp up production and create positive change.”

© Spinnova

Capable of producing textile fibres with zero emissions, the modern facility also has a comprehensive approach to circularity and sustainability. The only by-product of Spinnova production is heat, so the facility doesn’t require an environmental permit to operate. Using an advanced energy recovery system, excess heat is recycled into the local district heating system and estimated to save 2.4kg CO2e per kg of fibre produced that would otherwise be required to generate district heat. Coupled with an environmentally friendly production process, Woodspin’s large-scale facility saves more emissions than it creates.

“Spinnova’s patented fibre production process doesn’t require any harmful chemicals or dissolving, nor does it generate waste or microplastics,” explained the company’s CTO Juha Salmela. “It has a 74% smaller life cycle carbon footprint and uses 99.5% less water compared to conventional cotton production. The result is a natural, cotton-like textile fibre that meets the rigorous environmental and performance demands of brands and consumers alike – and, through facilities such as this one, can now be produced at scale.”

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