From Allbirds to Patagonia, Natural Fiber Welding (or NFW to those in the know) is certainly no stranger when it comes to environmentally-focused clothing collections. Over the past few years, the Illinois-based brand has been leading the charge in creating materials, like Clarus and Mirum, that can truly offset the fashion industry’s dependence on petroleum-based, man-made fabrics. In fact, PETA recently crowned it its “Fashion Innovator of the Year,” and this achievement alone was definitely no easy feat.
After tapping UNLESS Collective for an earthy-friendly sneaker earlier this season, NFW has now officially announced that it will be partnering up with Lenzing to look into more ways that the Austrian firm’s Tencel could work with its own Mirum.
It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Mirum here at FUTUREVVORLD. Unlike anything else out there, it’s the perfect textile for everything from luxury accessories to homewares. Completely free from plastic, it’s one hundred percent plant-based, and instead of the PU binders that are used by most leather alternatives, Mirum uses natural rubber.
Tencel, on the other hand, is derived from wood, and each fiber is totally identifiable, verifiable, and traceable through Lenzing’s state-of-the-art Fiber Identification technology. By combining these two innovative materials, it allows each and every piece and panel to be fully traceable during the production process. As if that wasn’t cool enough, Mirum can be recycled and Tencel is totally compostable and biodegradable, meaning they can be used over, and over, and over, and over again. Neat, right?
“At NFW, we believe that plant matter is the only material that can scale to replace plastic,” said Oihana Elizalde, Vice President and General Manager of Mirum at NFW. “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 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.”
“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,” adds Birgit Schnetzlinger, Head of Global Business Development for Functional Wear at Lenzing AG. “With innovation at heart, there are infinite possibilities for 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.”
Both Natural Fiber Welding and Lenzing will be showcasing the Mirum x Tencel collab during the International Leather Fair, Lineapelle, which will take place from February 21st to February 23rd in Milan, Italy.
If you want to learn a bit more about what exactly NFW do, you can hear it straight from the source on FUTUREVVORLD’s Progress Over Perfection podcast with the company’s CEO and founder, Luke Haverhals.
Text: Adam Cheung