CircularityNews & Updates

Lenzing partnered with Candiani Denim to protect glaciers & promote circularity

The Lenzing Group, a leading supplier of regenerated cellulose for textiles, has embarked on a groundbreaking initiative that tackles two pressing issues: glacier protection and promoting circularity in the textile industry. Partnering with Candiani Denim, a renowned denim producer, this project offers a glimpse into a more sustainable future for fashion.

Protecting Glaciers with Innovation

Global warming is causing glaciers to melt at an alarming rate. Geotextiles, typically made from fossil-based fibers, are used to protect ice and snow. However, these materials shed microplastics that pollute the environment and enter the food chain.

Lenzing’s solution involves replacing these non-biodegradable geotextiles with nonwovens containing cellulosic LENZING™ fibers. These innovative fibers are not only biodegradable but also demonstrably effective. A pilot project on the Stubai Glacier in Austria showed that these new geotextiles helped save four meters of ice from melting. The project’s success led to its expansion across all Austrian glaciers frequented by tourists in 2023.

From Glacier Waste to New Garments: Embracing Circularity

Taking the initiative a step further, Lenzing recognized the limited lifespan of geotextiles, typically lasting only two years before needing disposal. To address this challenge, they partnered with a network of committed partners, including Candiani Denim, to explore circularity within the textile value chain.

The collaboration involves recycling used geotextiles into new fibers for clothing production. The first phase of this pilot project yielded a “Glacier Jacket,” showcasing the viability of this approach. Partners involved in this phase include Marchi & Fildi Spa, a specialist in mechanical recycling, and the avant-garde fashion studio Blue of a Kind.

Glacier Denim: A Sustainable Fabric with Endless Potential

The “glacier denim” fabric is a testament to the power of circularity. It combines recycled nonwovens from used geotextiles with TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers made using REFIBRA™ technology, which incorporates cotton textile waste alongside wood pulp. Organic cotton is also included in the blend.

The use of REFIBRA™ technology lends a brighter, glacier-white hue to the ecru denim. This innovative fabric can be recycled multiple times, creating a “never-ending cycle of sustainability.” The 3×1 right-hand twill construction adds a touch of sophistication to this eco-friendly material.

The collaboration is a testament to the power of partnership; driving innovation and sustainability, reducing environmental impact and encouraging collaborative action against climate change for global impact across the textile industry,

Florian Heubrandner, Executive Vice President Commercial Textiles at Lenzing.

This initiative extends beyond the realm of textiles. The artistic interpretation by Michelangelo Pistoletto, a renowned contemporary artist, serves as a powerful reminder of the creative potential that emerges when sustainability and innovation converge.

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