PARIS — Ramping up a push for sustainable fabrics, Hennes & Mauritz and Inter Ikea Group have brought in a new industrial partner to scale up production of new wood-based textile fibers.
Store Enso, a traditional wood and paper company that has shifted to the business of renewable materials, joined the H&M and Ikea-owned venture, called TreeToTextile AB, according to a joint statement from the companies.
Fast-fashion companies are scrambling to find new materials to reduce the environmental impact of their businesses while keeping prices low for consumers.
“The new fiber that we have developed is both sustainable and produced at a lower cost,” said Annica Karlsson, chairman of the board of TreeToTextile.
The venture will be owned equally by the three companies as well as Lars Stigsson, a long-time executive in the field of renewable forest products.
TreeToTextile has tested a process to turn forest products into textile fibers and plans to scale up the project at a Stora Enso plant for use by H&M and Ikea.
“It will be exciting to participate in the industrialization of this technology at one of our facilities to meet growing demand,” said Markus Mannström, an executive who heads Stora Enso’s biomaterials division. The company dissolves pulp for textiles from renewable and traceable wood that comes from sustainably managed forests, according to Mannström.