Textiles are finally becoming part of the circular bioeconomy, and it's all possible thanks to the forest. After several years of development, Södra has presented OnceMore® by Södra, a new process for industrial-scale textile recycling. The process combines wood cellulose with textile waste to create a pure, high-quality dissolving pulp which can be used to produce new clothing and other textile products.
How the process works
One of the biggest challenges in textile recycling is that fabrics rarely consist of pure cotton. In the OnceMore® process, cotton and polyester are separated from polycotton blends, one of the world’s most widely used textile types. The cellulose from the cotton fibres are then combined with cellulose from wood.
Our OnceMore® pulp is a high alpha cellulose pulp for textile applications. It combines an excellent processability with a high brightness, and it is equal to Södra’s dissolving pulp used for viscose and lyocell production when it comes to purity, quality and properties.
The difference is that OnceMore® pulp partly consists of recycled textiles. In other words, it’s a raw material that is both recycled and renewable at the same time.
The goal and ambition for 2025 is to offer a pulp based on our wood material and 50 per cent recycled textile material.
The ground-breaking OnceMore® technology was launched in 2019 with three per cent recycled textile content, but ever since, Södra has invested and worked hard to increase the recycled content in the new material.
By reaching a share of 20 per cent, Södra has now achieved an important goal but is not stopping there – the target is 50 per cent.
To date, Södra has handled hundreds of tonnes of textiles for OnceMore® and established a raw material flow of returned textiles from Sweden, the Nordic countries and Europe. And there is capacity for more.
Certification of recycled material
Södra received its certification according to the Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) in 2020. The proportion of recycled textiles in the OnceMore® pulp opens new possibilities for clothing manufacturers and brand owners to certify their end products according to standards such as RCS – where the level of recycled material is crucial.