Welcome to The Relooping Fashion Initiative

This is a great example of the brilliant opportunity that the Circular Economy brings to European businesses. By creating new technology and innovative products for the future, we promote competitiveness and sustainable growth.
— Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, European Commission - Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness

What is The Relooping Fashion Initiative?

Re-producing old cotton clothing into new material has been very challenging, because the worn-out fibers are too short to be spun into new thread. New cotton also needs to be added to each batch, making 100% post-consumer-waste textiles an impossible dream.

Until now. The Relooping Fashion Initiative not only maintains the quality of the re-produced fibers – it can actually improve it. The process uses new revolutionary technology that allows for virtually unlimited recycling of cellulose-based fabrics without the addition of any harmful chemicals or new material. This has dramatic positive impact to the environmental issues caused by the global textile industry today. 

The closed-loop value chain maintains the value of the material, eliminates waste, and introduces a whole new line of sustainable future designs.


Why is this good for you, the fashion industry, and the planet?

Save water

It takes anywhere from 8,500 to 11,000 liters of water to make just 1 kg of cotton lint, the amount of material needed for a single pair of jeans. Not to mention the chemicals, energy, and petroleum products needed to produce and transport these materials across the globe.

Reduce waste

The EPA estimates that in the US market alone, over 85% of clothes end up in a landfill where they release methane as they decompose, which is roughly 30 times more potent as a heat-trapping gas than CO2. Dyes and other chemicals used in clothing can also leech into the ground.

Look good. Feel even better.

The Relooping fashion initiative is about consumers and companies working together to make high-quality clothes that are 100% reusable and more environmentally friendly.With no harmful chemicals added for the durability and softness, this new material makes you feel good inside out!

The Pilot

A unique production experiment is in progress in Finland. Old, worn-out cotton clothing can be turned into new fibers for the textile industry by using a cellulose dissolution technique developed by the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. The textile can be mixed and the resulting quality is even better than virgin cotton. The project group consists of organizations from  all stages of the value chain of circular textile recycling. The project is aimed at piloting and modeling a closed-loop business ecosystem in line with the principles of the circular economy.

The closed-loop model can be also replicated in other industrial sectors, and works on a knowledge-sharing principle.

The first clothing lines made of the new recycled fibers will be in stores toward the end of 2016.

This revolutionary process is the first time that post-consumer textile waste has been used on an industrial scale to make high quality fiber - and all without the need for any harmful chemicals.
— Ali Harlin, Research Professor at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

How are we doing this?

We partnered with leading players to start our own pop-up factory in a closed man-made cellulose fibre mill in Valkeakoski, Finland. This is our test-bed to pilot the process for the first time in an industrial scale.



Who's taking part?

An initiative like Relooping Fashion requires companies from across the entire value-chain to work closely together. Click on the logos below to read more about each company’s role.

Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd – the leading research and technology company in the Nordic countries developing new smart technologies, profitable solutions and innovation services.

The Helsinki Metropolitan Area Reuse Centre, a non-profit organization working for the benefit of our community.

TouchPoint, a forerunner for sustainable corporate work wear. Aims to help companies to take steps towards ecological solutions by terms of responsibility, ecological design and supreme service.

Seppälä, the most extensive Finnish fashion chain with over 100 stores in Finland and Estonia. Aims to build a sustainable business model for the fashion industry. Together with the customers.

Pure Waste, a textile recycling and manufacturing company offering ecologically sustainable fabric alternatives made 100% out of recycled textile waste.

Ethica is a business development consultancy specialized in circular economy. Ethica’s Design for Circularity (D4C) framework brings circular thinking into the core of business strategy and R&D.

Work is supported by Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation; “Circular Economy of Textile” –project is part of Tekes’ Green Growth program.

SUEZ, an environmental services and solutions company providing its customers (local authorities, industry and consumers) with concrete circular economy solutions.

RePack, a company offering sustainable packaging system for online retailers and shoppers whereby delivery packages can be conveniently and easily returned, and then re-used.

Lindström offers textile services, such as rental workwear, to companies in Europe and Asia. Our service makes our customer’s everyday life easier and provides the best value on the market.