Kelheim Fibres, the world’s leading manufacturer of viscose speciality fibres, has joined Recycling Atelier Augsburg. Recycling Atelier Augsburg is a unique centre for research and development in the field of textile recycling. It is located at the Institut für Textiltechnik Augsburg an affiliated institute of Augsburg University of Applied Sciences. The two institutions founded the Recycling Atelier in June 2022 together with twelve partners from the German textile industry.
As a model factory, the Recycling Atelier Augsburg combines the most important processes of textile recycling and offers holistic and comprehensive research along the value chain,” explains Georg Stegschuster, head of the Recycling Atelier Augsburg. The scientists research all process steps of textile recycling: from material analysis to sorting, preparation and textile processing to sustainable product design. Comprehensive data collection and the use of artificial intelligence as well as innovative materials play a central role.
Kelheim Fibres is a producer of high-quality viscose fibres, which consist of cellulose, the main component of the renewable raw material wood, and are used worldwide for products in areas such as hygiene, textiles, and technical applications.
“In New Business Development as well as Fibre and Application Development, we follow the Open Innovation concept – the cooperation with the Recycling Atelier offers us an ideal platform for this. Here we work with partners to advance sustainability and performance,” explains Maik Thiel, project manager at Kelheim Fibres.
Recycled cotton fibres are often very short or of uneven length, which makes further processing of 100 % recycled material a challenge. This is where the speciality fibres from Kelheim Fibres come into play, whose addition should enable the production of high-quality new products, such as nonwovens. In the future, the fibres provided by Kelheim Fibres will also be made from recycled pulp. Closing the loop further.
In the Recycling Atelier, the focus is on the triad of technical and ecological sense as well as an economic benefit. In this way, the partners of the Recycling Atelier are standing up against fast fashion, outsourced corporate responsibility and a general decline in raw material quality, which often fuels downcycling – the low-quality reuse – of materials.
About the Institut für Textiltechnik Augsburg (ITA)
Since 2014, scientists at ITA Augsburg have been researching carbon fibre-reinforced composites (CFRP) and their recycling – also within the framework of the leading-edge cluster “MAI Carbon” – with the aim of establishing textile processes and products on an industrial scale and making them economically efficient for the industry. Particular attention is paid to research into recycling technologies for textiles of all kinds, the digitalisation of textile processes and the development of products according to Design for Recycling principles. For this purpose, modern textile production lines are available to the scientists at the Sigma Technopark and the Augsburg Technology Centre. The Augsburg Institute of Textile Technology and Augsburg University of Applied Sciences opened the Recycling Atelier Augsburg, a model factory for the holistic recycling of textiles, in June 2022. www.ita-augsburg.com
About Kelheim Fibres
Kelheim Fibres GmbH is the world’s leading manufacturer of viscose speciality fibres. Innovative products, flexible technologies and an exceptional focus on sustainability form the foundation of the company’s success. Our speciality fibres are used in most diverse applications from fashion, hygiene and medical products to nonwoven and speciality papers. All our fibres are made from 100% wood pulp from PEFCTM or FSC© certified sources. They are fully biodegradable and offer an environmentally sound alternative to petroleum-based materials in a broad range of different end products – while maintaining or even enhancing the functional performance of the product. The production takes place exclusively in Germany and complies with strict German environmental legislation. Our closed-loop philosophy and an energy-efficient way to operate our plants help to save valuable resources. Kelheim Fibres is the first viscose manufacturer worldwide with an EMAS-validated environmental management system.