Former paper mill repurposed to convert recycled textiles into fiber for 100m t-shirts

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

Infinited Fiber

Finnish textile company, Infinited Fiber, is to repurpose Stora Enso’s closed paper mill in Kemi, Finland, into a new factory to help scale its production of recycled textiles.

The company’s technology allows the recycling of cotton-rich textile waste into a versatile, high-quality regenerated textile fibre called Infinna, which has the look and feel of real cotton.

Major apparel companies including Zara, PVH, Patagonia, Pangaia, H&M, and Bestseller have already committed to Infinna purchases through multiyear agreements as they look for sustainable materials that will enable the fashion industry to shift towards circularity.

With an estimated investment of US$420 million, the factory is expected to produce 30,000 metric tons of fiber each year – enough for about 100 million t-shirts.

“Circularity is at the heart of our business,” said Petri Alava, co-founder and CEO of Infinited Fiber. “We aim to use existing resources in all that we do, which makes the historic Veitsiluoto industrial site a great fit for us.”

According to Alava, after reviewing dozens of potential premises across the country, Veitsuluto’s strong infrastructure, fresh water, renewable energy, and efficient port services helped support the company’s decision to select the industrial site.

Former paper mill repurposed to convert recycled textiles into fibre for 100m t-shrts
Veitsiluoto Mill

Once completed, the factory is expected to provide direct employment for an estimated 220 people and an additional 50 for services, maintenance, and logistics. It is expected to operate at full capacity by 2025.

Infinted Fiber says the company is addressing the twin challenges of what to do with the piles and piles of textile waste consumers generate globally, “and our continued desire for more and more new textiles”.

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

A digital content manager based in the Philippines, Kaycee Enerva has written for multiple publications over several years. A graduate of Computer Science, she exchanged a career in IT to pursue her passion for writing. She's slowly practicing sustainability through period cups, and eating more plant-based food.