Ioncell is a new, sustainable process to produce high-quality textile fibres for textile and fashion.
Textiles are almost always on our skin. Materials have to be safe to wear, feel comfortable, be functional when needed -and of course look good for fashion. However, that is not enough: we need urgently more sustainable ways to produce textiles and to recycle materials before the world runs out of natural resources. For example, people around the world consume over 23 million tons of cotton per year and the production of a single kilogram of cotton takes up to 20 000 litres of water. On top of that, many other popular textile materials, such as polyester, are made out of crude oil and diluted micro plastics are polluting water systems. New cellulose-based fibres offer an excellent solution for these problems and one promising production technology is Ioncell.
Ioncell is a new process that turns cellulose pulp, used cotton textiles or even old newspapers and cardboard into new high-quality textile fibres without harmful chemicals. The process uses an environmentally friendly solvent called ionic liquid, developed in Finland by the multidisciplinary team of researchers from Aalto University and the University of Helsinki. Intense collaboration between textile designers and material researches has enabled experimental prototyping and resulted several prototypes. Ioncell fibres feel soft and luxurious, and perform well in both clothing and technical applications. The production technology is currently in small pilot scale.
With new material innovations we will be able in the future to enjoy fashion with good conscience, at the same taking care of the future of our precious planet.