Podcast – Chemistry with a purpose

Textile recycling: an opportunity for innovative chemistry

Today’s fashion industry is faced with a great challenge – textile waste. Fast fashion and accelerated trend cycles have led to mounting clothing waste and few solutions to solve it at scale. Industry innovators like the Finnish clothing brand Pure Waste are eager to help solve this problem by offering clothing made from recycled fibers. A new type of recycling based on chemistry could help make this happen.

At Kemira, we have deep expertise in chemistry for recycling paper and board. Now our innovation experts are applying this know-how to textile recycling, which could help the fashion industry reduce its environmental footprint and scale up apparel made from fully-recycled fibers.

We recently had the pleasure of talking to two experts on our podcast, Chemistry with a purpose:

  • Jukka Pesola, founder and chairman of the board of Pure Waste
  • Kaisa Karisalmi, an expert from Kemira who specializes in chemistry for recycling fibers

Pure Waste was among the first companies to offer high-quality, fully-recycled garments – something that most fashion brands thought was impossible at the time. Now Pure Waste is exploring ways to further improve and enhance textile recycling, including the potential for chemical recycling.

According to our scientist Kaisa, “The most exciting part is the functional chemistries. For example, how can you modify the fiber in a way that it will reach the quality requirements from a strength perspective?”

To hear Jukka and Kaisa share more about textile recycling, the trends, and innovation in the area, listen here on our website, or find our show on Apple, Spotify or Google Play.

More episodes

More episodes

Listen to our podcast, Chemistry with a purpose, where we talk about the science, research, and innovation that affects people’s lives every day.

A close up of a small pine tree plant.

Turning captured carbon into essential chemical building blocks

While carbon capture and storage has been around for several decades, the utilization of captured carbon is a relatively new and growing field. As Kemira ventures into new territory with innovations for monomers made with renewable carbon, we took the opportunity to dig into carbon capture and utilization in more detail with Michael Carus, a leader from the Nova Institute and Renewable Carbon Initiative.
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Biobased innovation: making circular polymers from sugar

Christian Lenges is an innovation expert at International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), one of Kemira’s collaboration partners in the quest to develop fully biobased polymers that outperform traditional fossil-based derived products. We caught up with Christian to learn more about the challenges and opportunities of making polymers from sugar instead of fossil-based raw materials.
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Field where crop is growing.

Recovering phosphorus from the EU’s wastewater: capturing value from waste 

In the first episode of our podcast series, Chemistry with a purpose, we spoke to Matthias Staub, Development Director of Water at Veolia, a leader in municipal wastewater treatment. The company is currently testing Kemira’s new Vivimag® phosphorus recovery technology, which has promising implications for the circular economy.
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