Circular Economy, Fashion

Renewcell’s Troubles: An Analysis

Scaling Deep Tech Innovations

On Monday came the news that Swedish textile recycling darling ‘Renewcell’ was bankrupt. Renewcell was a textile ‘advanced’ or ‘chemical’ textiles recycler who aimed to process mostly-cotton textiles (such as bedsheets and jeans) with a series of chemical treatment steps to produce a substitute for wood pulp from trees, which was intended to make, for …


Marketing Hype or Reality? Why Plant-and-Plastic Hybrids Are The Worst of Both Worlds

By Dr. Ashley Holding and Paula Lorenz Cactus leather. Apple leather. Coffee shoe foam.  It seems like every other week, there is a new story praising the latest material that might be a revolutionary new alternative to some existing material, such as plastic or leather. There is a pattern that connects many of these innovations: …

Bioplastics, Packaging, Plastics

‘Plant-Based’ Bottles: A Solution to Plastic?

In a recent flurry of media articles, a revolutionary new project was announced to develop plant-based bottles by utilising a new material developed by Dutch company Avantium, which had the support of a number of high-profile brand partners including Carlsberg, Coca-Cola, Danone and L’Oréal. British media wondered if this new material was the end of plastic entirely or more specifically, the end of plastic bottles as we know them. So what is this new material, where does it come from, and how sustainable is it?