Circular fashion and textile technology group Infinited Fiber Company has secured investments totalling 30 million euros in its latest financing round completed on June 30, with backing from Bestseller and Adidas.
The Finnish textile technology group said that new investors included sportswear company Adidas, Invest FWD, the investment art for Bestseller, and investment company Security Trading Oy.
They join existing investors fashion retailer H&M Group, the lead investor, investment company Nidoco AB, and Sateri, the world’s largest viscose producer and a member of the RGE group of companies, who also contributed to the financing round.
This new funding follows Infinited Fiber Company announcement in April to build a flagship factory in Finland in response to the strong growth in demand from global fashion and textile brands for its regenerated textile fibre Infinna. The factory, which will use household textile waste as raw material, is expected to be operational in 2024 and to have an annual production capacity of 30,000 metric tons.
Infinited Fiber Company co-founder and chief executive, Petri Alava, said in a statement: “We are really happy to welcome our new investors and grateful for the continued support from our older investors.
“These new investments enable us to proceed at full speed with the pre-engineering, environmental permits, and the recruitment of the skilled professionals needed to take our flagship project forward. We can now also boost production at our pilot facilities so that we can better serve our existing customers and grow our customer-base in preparation for both our flagship factory and for the future licensees of our technology.”
Adidas and Bestseller’s investment arm Invest FWD invest in textile-to-textile technology
Katja Schreiber, senior vice president of sustainability at Adidas, added: “Our intensified cooperation with Infinited Fiber Company forms part of our strategic ambition to have nine out of ten articles made from sustainable materials by 2025. Sustainability is a key focus of our strategy, with sustainable material innovations playing an important role in creating a more sustainable world.
“Today, we already use more than 60 percent recycled polyester and are aiming to be entirely virgin polyester-free by 2024. We believe that impact-at-scale in sustainability will require strong collaboration and look forward to pushing boundaries in cellulose-based materials together with Infinited Fiber Company.”
Along with investing in Infinited Fiber Company, Bestseller also announced that it had signed a multi-year sales agreement for its fibre, Infinna, following a year-long collaboration between the company and Bestseller’s sustainability innovation platform Fashion FWD Lab.
Camilla Skjønning Jørgensen, Bestseller’s sustainable materials and innovation manager, who heads Fashion FWD Lab, said: “Through our ongoing collaboration, we have developed the first prototypes and seen that the fibre can live up to our requirements for quality, look and sustainability.
“With Infinited Fiber Company’s planned flagship factory, we can actually scale this amazing circular material and, in time, make it a competitive fibre to conventional fibres.”
Infinited Fiber Company’s technology turns cellulose-based raw materials, like cotton-rich textile waste, into Infinna, a unique, premium-quality regenerated textile fibre with the natural, soft look and feel of cotton. Infinna is biodegradable and contains no microplastics and, at the end of their life, garments made with it can be recycled in the same process together with other textile waste.
Jørgensen added: “For us, this is much more than an investment. This is a pathway to change the environmental impact of the fashion industry, as it provides a technology solution that makes textile-to-textile recycling possible. At the same time, this is something that represents the potential for Bestseller to reach our North Star and become circular by design. And most importantly: this is only the beginning.”
Bestseller adds that they see the investment in textile-to-textile technology as an opportunity to close the loop.
More than 92 million metric tons of textile waste is produced globally every year, explains Infinited, and most of this ends up in landfills or incinerators. At the same time, textile fibre demand is increasing. Textile Exchange estimates that the global textile fibre market will grow 30 percent to 146 million metric tons by 2030 from 111 million metric tons in 2019. Infinited Fiber Company’s fibre regeneration technology, which can use multiple cellulose-rich waste streams as its raw material, offers a solution both to stop waste from being wasted and to reduce the burden of the textile industry on the planet’s limited natural resources.
Lise Kaae, chief executive of Heartland A/S and Invest FWD board member, said: “Infinited Fiber Company has an opportunity to close the loop in the fashion industry with textile-to-textile recycling, which is a great match for Invest FWD’s aspiration to support the entire fashion ecosystem and Bestseller’s sustainability strategy Fashion FWD through strategic investments.”
H&M continues investment in Infinited Fiber Company
H&M Group, one of Infinited Fiber Company’s earliest investors, first investing in 2019, also joined the latest round of financing. In addition, the fashion company also signed a multi-year sales deal to secure its access to agreed amounts of Infinna from the planned flagship factory.
Nanna Andersen, head of H&M Co:Lab, H&M Group, said: “We’re thrilled to continue our journey with Infinited Fiber Company by further investing in them. To be joined by other global brands clearly speaks to the shared belief in the scalability of their technology as well as the team behind it. More importantly, it also shows the huge potential that their regenerated textile fibre has in driving the industry towards a more sustainable fashion future.”