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Zalando invests in circular apparel and textile tech group Infinited Fiber Company

By Huw Hughes

Sep 29, 2021

Management

Image: Zalando

Zalando is the latest fashion company to invest in circular apparel and textile technology group Infinited Fiber Company.

The German e-tail giant announced Tuesday it has invested an undisclosed sum in the Finish company, whose proprietary technology turns cellulose-based raw materials like cotton-rich textile waste into a regenerated textile called Infinna, which is biodegradable, recyclable and contains no microplastics.

It comes as the market for alternative, non-plastic-based materials continues to heat up amid growing consumer and investor demand for more sustainable fashion.

The investment by Zalando completes a 30 million euro funding round led by H&M Group, with participation from other fashion giants like Adidas and Bestseller’s investment arm Invest FWD A/S.

Zalando to use Infinna for private label

Espoo-based Infinited Fiber Company said it will use the funding to prepare for building its flagship factory in Finland in response to “the strong growth in demand” for its Infinna fiber from global fashion and textile brands.

As part of the investment, Zalando will provide raw materials to Infinited Fiber Company in the future, and will use Infinna fiber for its private-label production.

Infinited Fiber Company co-founder and CEO Petri Alava said he was “delighted” to welcome Zalando as its latest strategic investor, and said the funding was a “further indication of the fashion industry’s strong belief in our innovation”.

He said Zalando’s “vast brand portfolio and circularity initiatives provide a great basis to deepen our collaboration and to secure feedstock for our flagship plant”.

This is the latest circular push by Zalando, which in 2019 pledged to extend the life of 50 million fashion pieces by 2023 as part of its broader ‘do.More’ sustainability strategy.

“We want to be part of the solution for a more sustainable fashion industry,” said Zalando co-CEO David Schneider. “With the investment in Infinited Fiber Company, we initiate a collaboration with a circular technology innovator to grow the industry share of textiles recycled into new textiles, which currently sits at only one percent.”