In the Kuituus podcasts, we discuss the recycling of textile fibers and especially why a company should be interested in recycled textile fiber as a raw material for its products. We address the issue not only through the properties of recycled textile fiber, but also more broadly from the perspective of the company’s business and change, through interesting company examples. The guests are politicians, experts, pioneering companies and researchers from the Finix research project. The podcasts are hosted by Sini Suomalainen, the leader of the Kuituus project.
The podcasts are in Finnish, but you can find the English summaries of the podcasts below.
Sini Suomalainen, Samuli Patala and Noora Alhainen in the recording of the Podcast #5.
Find the podcasts
Podcast are in Finnish but you can read the summaries in English.
1. From textile to product – regulation promotes and forces
Satumaija Mäki about Finnish Textiles and Fashion tells us everything that is going on in Finland and the EU to promote textile recycling. Speeches e.g. separate collection of textiles, EU recycling hubs and textile strategy, and recovery money.
2. The benefits of recycled materials and the circular economy for the company
TouchPoint, a manufacturer of workwear, and the restaurant chain Hesburger have worked together for years to develop circular workwear and restaurant furniture. In the podcast, TouchPoint CEO Noora Salonoja and Hesburger Communications and Responsibility Manager Heini Santos reveal the innovation created by the warehouse walk and who is interested in what kind of clothing restaurant employees wear. Noora also ends up considering the risks posed by the pandemic in supply chains and the cost of logistics. Also involved is postdoctoral researcher Olli Sahimaa from Aalto University School of Economics.
3: What is recycled textile fiber and what can it be used for?
Finland’s best-known textile materials expert Marja Rissanen from Aalto University and Rester’s customer manager Henna Knuutila open up the properties and possibilities of using recycled textile fibers.
4: Mechanical identification of textiles facilitates further use Textiles are currently identified mainly by hand
As the volume of recycled textiles increases and their uses diversify, identification needs to be handled faster and more accurately. VTT’s research professor Mikko Mäkelä explains what kind of technologies for identification are being developed now and what it will enable in the future. Mila Moisio, CEO of Tauko Design, talks about identification in a small company that utilizes recycled fabrics.
5: Why we talk about ecosystems and how they relate to recycled fiber
Assistant Professor Samuli Patala from Aalto University School of Economics and Noora Alhainen from Pure Waste Oy discuss the ecosystems around recycled fibers. In which ecosystems does Pure Waste operate and what has been the benefit of operating in them? Samuli Patala also gives examples from other industries.
6: How is a “just ordinary” company run as a circular economy company?
Johanna Hamro-Drotz, CEO of Sinituote, explains why and how Sinituote is moving towards a circular economy. Johanna opens the stages of product development, internal and external motivators for change, explains what was difficult and what was surprisingly easy. Minna Halme, Professor of Management specializing in responsible business, comments on the management. Minna also gives tips for moving to a company where management is not as dim as in Sinituote.
7: Making sense of textile flows
The podcast discusses the recently completed Finnish textile flow study. Where do disposal textiles come from and where do they end up? Helena Dahlbo, Senior Research Fellow, and Kristiina Tiilikainen, Sourcing Director from Lindström, who led the study at SYKE, discussing and painting visions for the future. The report and related bulletin can be found here.
8: How does the EU promote a circular economy for textiles?
At the opening of the Kuituus podcast in the autumn, MEP Henna Virkkunen explains how the EU is working to get rid of its dependence on imported raw materials through the circular economy. Together with Professor Kirsi Niinimäki, the forthcoming EU textile strategy is being discussed: what should be done there from the point of view of the environment and Finnish companies? And what can we learn from the plastics strategy already in place, what new incentives may be coming for textile manufacturers and users of textile fibers?
9: EU sustainable product policy – what and when?
The guest is Sitra’s circular economy expert Eero Jalava, with whom Sini discusses the EU’s sustainable product policy: when and what to expect. Eero also gives tips on influencing EU decision-making.
10: Recycled fibers in product development
How can recycled textile fiber be designed into circular economy products? This is affected by, among other things, what ends up as recyclable material. Anna Garton, who is responsible for the sale of recycled fiber in waste management in Southwest Finland, and Enni Karikoski, the founder of the circular economy design company Niimaari, are discussing the topic. Due to technical problems, the initial sound quality is poor.
11: Raw material prices are rising – what does this mean for the textile industry in Finland?
This time, we are not talking about reducing textile consumption, but about international growth. How will the Finnish textile industry save the planet, even though raw materials are becoming more expensive and logistics costs rising? How are digitalisation and responsibility intertwined? Is there a need for yarn production in Finland? Esko Hjelt, CEO of Lapua Kankurit, and Marja-Liisa Niinikoski, CEO of the Finnish Textile and Fashion Association, say their strong words.
12: Textile recycling in Turkey
Textile recycling has been a growing business in Turkey for decades. In the Nordics the business is now emerging. How does the textile recycling business function in Turkey and what is there to learn on both sides. Researcher Tulin Dzhengiz tells about her research in Turkey and discusses the differences between Finnish and Turkish goals and practices. Podcast in English.
Kuituus has focused on fiber recycling. It is a necessary but not sufficient part of the circular economy. Minna Halme outlines for us what the levels are in the circular economy and how their ecological and economic value differ.
Circular economy levels mentioned in the podcast (in Finnish): https://finix.aalto.fi/tekstiilien-kiertotalouden-tasot/
This is the last episode of the Kuituus series. FINIX project’s new Sustainable Textile Systems podcast series deals more extensively with the circular economy of textiles – welcome to https://finix.aalto.fi/kestavat-tekstiilisysteemit-podcast/