This week, Fortum and Spinnova introduced the “world’s first” wheat straw-based clothing at the Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference (TESC) in Vancouver, Canada.

At the event, held from 15-17 October, the companies showcased their first prototype products made from agricultural waste, namely wheat straw, which included a knitted T-shirt, as well as a jacket and skirt made of a woven fabric on organic cotton warp. The wheat straw-based material is said to be unique due to its extremely low environmental impact from raw material extraction, processing and manufacture.

Heli Antila, vice president of bio-based solutions at Fortum, said: “We are very excited to present this revolutionary textile. Today, wheat straw is mostly discarded or even burned in the fields. As it can now be used in numerous textile applications, this opens up huge possibilities globally.”

European energy company Fortum and sustainable fibre technology company Spinnova announced their partnership earlier this year. Heli added: “This cooperation is a tangible step towards Fortum’s strategy to build options for significant new businesses that improve resource efficiency and provide smart solutions for a cleaner world. We would like to invite more key industry players to join us in this journey.”

Janne Poranen, CEO of Spinnova, said: “We are all very proud of this amazing collaborative accomplishment. This was a very fast journey from the first trials to real, appealing fabric materials. This shows that wheat straw-based fibre is well on its way to being a drop-in product of the most sustainable kind.”