A wood-based shirt and other wood-based textiles attracted the most attention among visitors to the Uusi Puu – New Wood exhibition in Helsinki. The exhibition will visit the Beyond the Bio-Bubble – Solutions for a circular forest bioeconomy -seminar in Brussels on 30 November 2022.
New wood-based textile fibres turned out to be favourites with many visitors to the Uusi Puu – New Wood exhibition presenting innovations of bioeconomy in Helsinki. Marina Rotkus, author of the Dioriina blog, was most interested in the Kuura textile fibre.
’I really found this wood-based fibre interesting. It’s hard to believe it’s made of wood,’ Rotkus said about the Kuura fibre.
The Kuura fibre is manufactured by Metsä Spring, the innovation company of Metsä Group, out of pulp from wood harvested in sustainably managed Finnish forests.
Rotkus thinks she could well buy a wood-based garment, perhaps one like the shirt made by Ioncell that was exhibited in addition to Kuura.
’I’d like to wear it a couple of days to find out what it feels like,’ Rotkus said.
Spinnova share shot up on the stock exchange
Wood-based textiles became a hot topic in stock exchange circles lately, with Time magazine’s choice of the Spinnova company from Jyväskylä, Finland, on its list of the best innovations in 2022. The company’s share price soon went up by more than 80 percent (the value of the share has decreased by -44 percent in a year).
The Autotalo building, one of the landmarks of Helsinki city centre, hosted the Uusi Puu – New Wood exhibition, which was visited by more than 80 journalists and social media influencers earlier this month. The exhibition was organized as part of a press event by the Manifesto PR company.
Wood-based textiles became a hot topic in stock exchange circles lately, with Time magazine’s choice of the Spinnova company from Jyväskylä, Finland, on its list of the best innovations in 2022. The company’s share price soon went up by more than 80 percent.
Uusi Puu – New Wood is a community formed by over 20 Finnish organisations, with the purpose of increasing understanding about wood-based bioeconomy. In addition to wood-based textiles the exhibition presented a variety of other wood-based products, such as packagings for food and cosmetics.
The Uusi Puu – New Wood exhibition will visit the Beyond the Bio-Bubble – Solutions for a circular forest bioeconomy seminar in Brussels on 30 November 2022.
Organised by UNITE and FinnCERES, the seminar presents the latest in bioeconomy research and future materials. FinnCERES is a competence centre, jointly formed by Aalto University and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. UNITE is a competence centre of research with societal impact and one of the flagships of the Academy of Finland.
’Wood-based clothing will be just the thing in future’
Wood-based textile fibres can replace synthetic fibres and clothing made of cotton. Compared to synthetic fibres, wood-based materials require less chemicals and help combat the problems caused by micro plastics.
The production of cotton is considered a significant environmental problem, due to its high consumption of water and use of arable land for a non-food purpose.
One of the journalists visiting the exhibition was Ellinoora Autti from Gloria magazine, which focuses on fashion and beauty. Autti, too, was most interested in the wood-based textile fibre exhibited.
’Wood-based clothing will be the thing in the future. I’d love to see these garments in mass production. They could well become a new export branch in Finland,’ Autti said.
’A shirt made of wood! It’s hard to believe,’ was the comment of identical twins and social media stars Viivi and Venla Sydänmaalakka, when asked about the most interesting exhibit in the New Wood exhibition. The twins have 12,900 followers on Instagram alone.
’Finnish forest industry is in with the times’
Project Manager Virpi Korhonen of Uusi Puu – New Wood says that the New Wood exhibition interests not only decision-makers and influencers, but also ordinary citizens, that is, consumers.
’It doesn’t often occur to people that many everyday things and packagings that are now made of plastics can actually be manufactured of wood by now. The most common response to this exhibition is extremely positive, and people are surprised at how up-to-date Finnish forest industry is and at the huge number of innovative uses the industry has found for wood,’ Korhonen says.
Korhonen’s own favourites in the exhibition included a paper innovation developed by Aalto University and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, which they are currently bringing into mechanical production.
A protective packaging made of paper can be used to wrap one’s tax-free liquor bottles, for example. Based on the Japanese origami technique, the packaging provides protection without requiring a lot of material.
’As a material, paper is warm to the touch and communicates eco-friendliness. This will be the new bubble wrap with an enormous market potential. Used like this, the value of paper will be multiplied many times over, and wood fibre can be recycled up to 25 times,’ Korhonen continues.
Visitors to the exhibition were also interested in the hand basin made of wood composite by Woodio, and the sparkling water maker by Mysoda.
’The common denominator for the most popular items exhibited here is that they combine Finnish design know-how with a raw material that’s been produced responsibly: wood,’ Korhonen points out.
The main sponsor of New Wood is the Finnish Forest Foundation.
The Finnish Forest Foundation is one of he sponsors of the forest.fi online magazine.
English translation: Heli Mäntyranta
Story completed on 24 November 2022: Added information on the price development of Spinnova’s share.