Lenzing, NFW Partner for Green Leather Substitutes
NFW (Natural Fiber Welding Inc.) and Lenzing have partnered to provide TENCEL™ branded fibres as an alternative to leather through NFW’s plant-based technology, MIRUM®. The MIRUM® x TENCEL™ collaboration will debut at LINEAPELLE, the international leather fair, from 21st to 23rd February 2023 in Milan, Italy.
MIRUM® is a unique material suited for luxury fashion accessories, home goods, automotive, and footwear. TENCEL™ Lyocell and Modal fibres, sourced sustainably, undergo eco-friendly processes and are identifiable and traceable through Lenzing's Fiber Identification technology at different production stages.
This guarantees complete transparency of fibre origin, whether in fabric or finished products like garments and footwear. MIRUM® is completely plastic-free, made using natural rubber, plant and mineral pigments, plant-based oils and waxes, and an all-natural fabric backing. While each MIRUM® recipe is unique, using only natural ingredients remains constant. MIRUM® avoids the use of PU binders found in most leather alternatives and instead employs natural rubber and plant oils for binding.
NFW incorporates a variety of natural ingredients such as biobased charcoal, clay, cork powder, rice hulls, coconut fibres, recycled denim, or seaweed to add colour or visual interest to MIRUM®. At the end of its lifecycle, MIRUM® products can either be recycled into new MIRUM® or be ground up and returned to the earth.
TENCEL™ fibres, on the other hand, are compostable and biodegradable, allowing for the complete circularity of finished products. This collaboration between TENCEL™ fibres and MIRUM® creates a unique sustainable alternative for leather applications with the flexibility to be used in various 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 a 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.
For designers and brands seeking to minimize their environmental impact and broaden their creative possibilities, MIRUM® is an excellent choice. TENCEL™ fibres are gentle and comfortable on the skin while also having exceptional moisture control. Combining TENCEL™ fibre-based backer material with MIRUM® provides not just a genuinely sustainable option but also one that increases the comfort level of leather alternative products.
“This partnership is a perfect example of how the combination of our sustainable TENCEL™ fibres and innovative materials like MIRUM® can go beyond traditional textiles. With innovation at heart, there are infinite possibilities for the application of the new material. TENCEL™ fibres 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.
At LINEAPELLE 2023, Lenzing and NFW will exhibit their products. In Hall 9, booth H02, visitors can view the new MIRUM® material with TENCEL™ fibre backing, such as the Allbirds Plant Pacer. This product is now available for purchase worldwide, and the 'MIRUM® x TENCEL™' leather alternative will be introduced to Lenzing's E-Branding Service later this year.