February 5, 2020 A Backpack Made From Wood
Spinnova and Bergans have entered a collaboration with a clear goal: To develop a new and revolutionary way of sustainably manufacturing textiles. The very first prototype product is already in use.
Last year, the Finnish fiber producer and Norwegian outdoor brand announced they had entered a long-term product development collaboration, combining Finnish and Norwegian interests in sustainability, technology and outdoor life. The aim was to further develop a technology for cellulose-based textile fibers, without any harmful chemicals. And the hope was nothing less than finding solutions to revolutionize the textile industry.
Technologies based on cellulose textile fibers through chemical processes have existed for some time. What makes Spinnova’s solution so revolutionary is that all harmful chemicals are replaced by a mechanical process. The patented technology includes neither waste nor side streams, reducing the fiber and production method’s impact substantially. Spinnova’s raw material commitment is to only use FSC certified wood or material from waste streams.
Bergans of Norway is one of the first suppliers to develop a complete product made using the Spinnova fiber. After great efforts, the Norwegian brand presented the first product using the new technology already at the end of last year: a plain backpack using Scandinavian wood as raw material and made without harmful chemicals.
“The aim with this futuristic product is to get the Spinnova technology tested. Our hope is that the project could be a step towards a more sustainable textile consumption,” says Bergans CEO Jan Tore Jensen.
A new way of producing
The product is still a prototype and only available in a very limited quantity. Even so, both partners emphasize the importance of launching the product for consumers to let them take part in its further development.
“We want to let consumers get to know our material by allowing them to physically test products. For that, we need innovative and risk-willing manufacturers. Bergans has shown a pragmatic and open attitude to trying new materials, even before they are commercially profitable,” says Janne Poranen, CEO of Spinnova.
A new way of owning
But it’s not only about inventing new materials and products. The Norwegian developers are also eager to test new ways of consumption and circular business models. And the way the new backpack with the “wooden” fiber will be linked to the consumer market is unlike anything else.
Even if the pack will be tested among Scandinavian and German consumers, it’s not for sale in the traditional way. The idea is to give consumers the opportunity to buy in as co-owners in the fabric quantity.
“Currently, the fabric quantity is designed for backpacks. After a period of use, the consumer can return the backpack, have it recycled into new Spinnova material and reshaped into a new and different product,” suggests Johannes Flem, designer at Bergans Future Labs. And so, the cycle will continue.