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Lenzing and NFW partner to provide sustainable leather alternatives for fashion


Lenzing and NFW will offer a first look into a new sustainable leather alternative, by showcasing their ‘MIRUM® x TENCEL™’ collaboration at LINEAPELLE 2023

The new MIRUM® material with TENCEL™ fibers is completely free from plastic and fully traceable from material to finished product



Lenzing – Lenzing has teamed up with NFW (Natural Fiber Welding Inc.) to offer TENCEL™ branded fibers as another backer option for NFW’s patented plant-based technology, MIRUM®. The MIRUM® x TENCEL™ collaboration will be showcased for the first time in Milan, Italy during the international leather fair, LINEAPELLE, which will take place on 21st – 23rd February 2023 in Milan, Italy.


MIRUM® is a categorically unique material class, perfect for luxury accessories, fashion, footwear, automotive, and home goods. TENCEL™ Lyocell and Modal fibers are derived from sustainable wood sources and produced using environmentally responsible processes. The fibers are identifiable, verifiable and traceable through Lenzing’s Fiber Identification technology which enables a physical identification of fiber origin at different stages of production. This enables full traceability of the fiber materials used during the production process, be it on a piece of fabric or finished product, like garments or footwear. Completely free from plastic, MIRUM® is made from natural rubber, plant and mineral pigments, plant-based oils and waxes, and an all-natural fabric backing. Each MIRUM® recipe is unique, but the commitment to using only natural ingredients is unchanging. Instead of relying on PU binders, a characteristic of most leather alternatives, MIRUM® uses natural rubber and plant oils for binding.


NFW’s unique approach incorporates a diversity of natural ingredients like biobased charcoal, clay, cork powder, rice hulls, coconut fibers, recycled denim or seaweed to develop color or add visual interest. At the end of its life cycle, products made with MIRUM® can be recycled into new MIRUM® or ground up and returned to the earth, while TENCEL™ fibers are compostable and biodegradable, enabling complete circularity of finished products. The collaboration creates a uniquely sustainable alternative for leather applications as both TENCEL™ fibers and MIRUM® are versatile enough to be used in multiple applications.


“At NFW, we believe that plant matter is the only material that can scale to replace plastic. Since its inception, MIRUM® has been engineered to benefit our planet. By adding fabrics made of TENCEL™ to MIRUM®, we can enhance material transparency and traceability, while guaranteeing comfort and great hand feel on the skin. We are thrilled to join hands with the TENCEL™ brand and we will continue creating greener alternatives for the fashion industry,” said Oihana Elizalde, Vice President and General Manager of MIRUM® at NFW. One of the best examples of the collaboration is the Allbirds Plant Pacer, which released last fall. The shoe’s upper is made with MIRUM® lined with TENCEL™.


MIRUM® is an ideal option for designers and brands looking to reduce their environmental footprint and expand their creative palettes. TENCEL™ fibers are soft and pleasant on the skin, with outstanding moisture management. Adding backer material made of TENCEL™ fibers to MIRUM® not only creates a truly sustainable option but also one that enhances the comfort level of products made from leather alternatives.


“This partnership is a perfect example of how the combination of our sustainable TENCEL™ fibers and innovative materials like MIRUM® can go beyond traditional textiles. With innovation at heart, there are infinite possibilities for application of the new material. TENCEL™ fibers used as backer not only increase the level of transparency and traceability of MIRUM®, but also enhance comfort – and with a very low carbon footprint. We are confident that the versatile material will be loved by supply chain partners and brands across footwear, fashion apparel, accessories, furniture, and even automotive industries,” said Birgit Schnetzlinger, Head of Business Development Functional Wear and Footwear, Global Textiles Business at Lenzing AG.


Both Lenzing and NFW will be showcasing their products at LINEAPELLE 2023. Stop by Hall 9, booth H02 to see the new MIRUM® material backed with TENCEL™ fibers on display, including the Allbirds Plant Pacer. The product is commercially available now globallyand the ‘MIRUM® x TENCEL™’ leather alternative product will be added to Lenzing’s E-Branding Service this year.


About TENCEL™

TENCEL™ is the flagship brand under The Lenzing Group that covers textile specialty product fiber offerings. Since 1992, the TENCEL™ brand has been driving the evolution of fiber solutions for the apparel and home textile segments through several industry-first innovations and environmentally responsible production processes. Product brands under TENCEL™ include TENCEL™ Active, TENCEL™ Denim, TENCEL™ Home, TENCEL™ Intimate, TENCEL™ Luxe and TENCEL™ for Footwear.


Featuring botanic origin and biodegradable quality, TENCEL™ branded modal and lyocell fibers are also gentle on skin with smooth, long-lasting softness, color vibrancy and color retention features. TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers are versatile and can be combined with a wide range of textile fibers to enhance the aesthetics and functionality of fabrics. Through moisture management, TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers can also absorb moisture efficiently. Offering endless design possibilities, TENCEL™ Modal fibers can be blended with other fibers and processed using conventional machinery, significantly improving the softness and comfort of fabrics.


Fibers and filaments used under the TENCEL™ brand are derived from certified and controlled sources following the stringent guidelines of the Lenzing Wood and Pulp Policy. They are produced via environmentally responsible production processes and are compostable and biodegradable, thus can fully revert back to nature. They are designated by the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) BioPreferred® Program. TENCEL™ Luxe is registered by The Vegan Society.


About the Lenzing Group


The Lenzing Group stands for ecologically responsible production of specialty fibers made from the renewable raw material wood. As an innovation leader, Lenzing is a partner of global textile and nonwoven manufacturers and drives many new technological developments.


The Lenzing Group’s high-quality fibers form the basis for a variety of textile applications ranging from elegant clothing to versatile denims and high-performance sports clothing. Due to their consistent high quality, their biodegradability and compostability Lenzing fibers are also highly suitable for hygiene products and agricultural applications.


The business model of the Lenzing Group goes far beyond that of a traditional fiber producer. Together with its customers and partners, Lenzing develops innovative products along the value chain, creating added value for consumers. The Lenzing Group strives for the efficient utilization and processing of all raw materials and offers solutions to help redirect the textile sector towards a closed-loop economy. In order to reduce the speed of global warming and to accomplish the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement and the “Green Deal” of the EU Commission, Lenzing has a clear vision: namely to make a zero-carbon future come true.


Key Facts & Figures Lenzing Group 2021

Revenue: EUR 2.19 bn

Nominal capacity: 1,145,000 tonnes

Number of employees (headcount): 7,958


TENCEL™, VEOCEL™, LENZING™, REFIBRA™, ECOVERO™, LENZING MODAL™, LENZING VISCOSE™, MICROMODAL™ and PROMODAL™ are trademarks of Lenzing AG.


ABOUT NFW

Natural Fiber Welding (NFW) is the Circularity of Things company giving industries categorically new material solutions to create responsibly. NFW invents and manufactures shockingly sustainable products from plants. Beginning with naturally circular, biobased ingredients, NFW is making a material-rich, plastic-free future possible. NFW was founded in 2015 and is based in Peoria, Illinois.

ABOUT MIRUM®

MIRUM® is a categorically new, plant-based material that is perfect for footwear, fashion, automotive, and accessories. MIRUM®’s miraculous customizability means it can look like leather or carbon fiber — you decide. MIRUM® is a high-performance solution for designers and brands looking to shrink their footprint and expand their creative palettes. At the end of its life, MIRUM® can be recycled into new MIRUM® or ground up and returned to the earth: At last, a climate-friendly, plastic-free option.


For further information please contact:

Liz Roscoe + 44 (0) 7702 807 048 liz@roscoe360.com

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