STAND Up!: EP The Future of Fashion selected as best open innovation solution to the growing demand for sustainable and recyclable textile fibres in Italy.
The EP Eco Planning- The Future of Fashion's winning proposal was evaluated as the optimal solution to the open innovation challenge launched on The Switchers Open Eco-Innovation platform by Next Technology Tecnotessile, a private research organisation enrolled among the laboratories recognised by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR).
The call was prompted by a careful analysis of the international textile fibre demand picture, which shows that cotton production capacity is almost exhausted in the face of steadily increasing demand. Even if cotton fibre blends - the most widely used for clothing - were recycled, the amount of available pulp that could be obtained would not be sufficient. This is why vegetable fibres made from crops or agricultural residues are increasingly gaining market share.
In order to meet the demand for fibres and to replace, at least partially, artificial fibres with renewable ones by valorising currently under-utilised plant sources, the Tuscan start-up implemented the idea of developing organic hemp yarns produced with an environmentally friendly artificial fibre production process.
The solution’s core concept is to create an innovative, artificial, sustainable, FSC-certified yarn, that is HEMP VISCOSE, valorising the use of hemp fibre, but not only, valorising above all the waste that is generated after the first processing and transformation phase of the vegetable: the hemp (the woody part of the plant). This yarn will also have patenting possibilities as it is innovative and does not yet exist on the market.
The process going to be developed will provide a sustainably produced hemp pulp that meets all the purity requirements of the Lyocell process and last but not least, the new fibrous material will be able to be recycled, finding a new place in the future circular textile economy. In this respect, Lyocell fibres based on hemp pulp could become the first example that meets all the challenges of sustainability and environmental friendliness, from cultivation to textile reuse.
This innovative proposal designed by EP – The Future of Fashion is still at an experimental stage, the HEMP VISCOSA yarn must be developed and then tested, but it may have a good chance of success and then be launched on the market, and proposed to all textile companies at national and European level.
Within these perspectives, the selection as the best proposed solution allows the start-up to access the STAND Up! €18,000 voucher scheme that can be used to proceed with the necessary tests and services (spinning and weaving) as well as scientific/technical advice from a textile chemistry researcher to achieve the optimal product performance.