Södra is Sweden's largest forest owners association and an international forest industry group. The main mission of its 3,000 employees is to convert forests grown by Södra's 53,000 owners into renewable, climate-smart products. Södra's operations span products ranging from paper pulp and sawn timber, to renewable energy, building systems and dissolving pulp.
The Södra Process
Södra’s interest in textile recycling started in 2011, as part of a collaboration with RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden) to develop a process called Blend Re:Wind. In the Blend Re:wind process, textiles containing polyester and cotton are separated and can be treated further. Södra was inspired by the work at RISE and developed its own process called OnceMore® that is now up and running at Södra Cell Mörrum in Sweden.
Södra's OnceMore® pulp is a high alphacellulose pulp, making it ideal for textile applications. It has the same purity, quality, and properties as Södra's dissolving pulp used for viscose and lyocell production.
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.
Södra uses the Sagitto system to perform quality checks on its inwards stream of polyester-cotton textile waste. Using our hand-held NIR spectrometer, and machine learning models that we've developed especially for Södra, their quality control team is able to rapidly determine the suitability of end-of-life textiles for the Södra process.
The ground-breaking OnceMore® technology was launched in 2019 with 3% recycled textile content. Through consistent investment and hard work, Södra has now increased the recycled textile content to 20%.
Södra's goal and ambition for 2025 is to offer a pulp based on 50% wood from sustainable forestry, and 50% recycled textile material.