Batch of S21 - FLUFFSTUFF adds inner value to the global textile industry

March 26, 2021
Written by 
Tehilah Auramo

Co-founders Lukas Schuck and Tehilah Auramo make textile products sustainable from inside out. Photo: FLUFFSTUFF archive, edited by Pyry Kantonen

The recent boom in high-tech textile fibres will meet it’s fluffy cousin, which allows the emerging Finnish textile hub to become fully sustainable while our pillows stay soft.

The Finnish bioeconomy has always closely entwined with forestry value chains. Current research and development are aiming at deepening this historic interlinkage even further by advancing new business areas such as cellulose-based textile applications, Business Finland reports. Cellulose fibers extracted from trees originating from sustainably managed forests are considered a low impact alternative to cotton and viscose in textile products, which both have extensive sustainability issues relating to their common production and transportation patterns. 

In recent years Finland has managed to build up an ecosystem for cellulose-based textile innovation and brought forth many entrepreneurial success stories such as the Infinited Fiber Company, Ioncell, Woodly and Spinnova. Even more traditional companies such as Metsä, Stora Enso as well as UPM and research organizations such as Aalto University and VTT have identified the promising potential of producing textiles from cellulose fibers. It comes clear from a recent press release that Spinnova together with a wood pulp production company Suzano will build a large scale commercial textile production hub in Jyväskylä to start serving global textile brands in 2022.

This development is indeed dazzling – who would have thought that a solution for environmentally consuming raw-materials for textile production has been growing among us all along? And who would have guessed that Finland would one day grow to become a sustainable textile production hub?

There are still some unsolved challenges even in the new wave of Finnish textile industry. The utilization of cellulosic fibers enable us to produce sustainable textile fabrics. Yet, a broad palette of textile products are based upon combining fabrics with a variety of different filling material. Cushions, outdoor clothing, sleeping bags, quilts and plush toys are routinely filled with down feathers, polyester, cotton or other foamed material, most of which are to varying extent considered negatively impactful on the environment, humans as well as animals. While some fillings such as polyester base on material refined from non-renewable fossil fuels, others such as animal and plant-based alternatives prove to be environmentally consuming. 

Where exactly does FLUFFSTUFF come to play? We at FLUFFSTUFF believe that sustainable cellulose-based fabrics should not mantle a rotten core. Therefore we aim at substituting unsustainable filling material within the textile industry with local and renewable plant-based alternative. We are happy to add an important piece to the Finnish cellulose-based textile ecosystem and help complete its vision of providing truly and holistically sustainable textile products.

Why us? FLUFFSTUFF team masters environmental engineering, sustainable design and business with work experiences in global development projects and international business. The skillsets are complementary while the co-founders share passion to impact projects, as they also originally got to know each other through the AALTO University Creative Sustainability alumni program. 

With that said, we hope to hear from interested clients, partners and investors, as we are getting ready for orders towards the end of the year. Meanwhile, you can reach us at our brand new channels on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn, and you won’t miss out on any events presenting prototypes. Feel free to also subscribe to our waiting list for the first batch of products! 

Text by Lukas Schuck and Tehilah Auramo

Kiuas S21 questions

answered by Tehilah

What was your childhood dream job?
Visual artist, I used to draw and paint a lot when growing up.

If you would get 1 billion euros right now, what would you do?
Invest in a nice mix of real estate and impact startups.

Choose: A world with fast internet everywhere, anytime vs a world with personal flying vehicles. Why?
Fast internet everywhere! The limitless access to information could change the world dynamics in fascinating ways and probably solve some of the gender tech cap too. Btw could someone please reboot the WIFI in Helsinki subway system? It hasn’t worked for me e v e r.

If you could change one law in Finland what would it be?
Currently the biggest challenge of the Finnish environmental law is that ecologic, economic, social and cultural values are of the exactly same value. This causes a dilemma in the court, and as a result long-term environmental values are almost never prioritized although we are 100% dependent on nature. It would be interesting to see how applying the concept of environmental personhood on certain parts of the Finnish nature such as the Baltic Sea, lakes, peat lands or for instance the ongoing discussion of Evo national park, and evaluate what kind of impact it would have to our overall quality of living.

Ideal vacation a) A ride to space and back b) Two weeks in an all-inclusive, all paid beach resort c) A week of alpine ski-hiking and riding in the Alps 
Alps as I’ve always dreamed of hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc. Some relatives in Switzerland still produce cheese that our Pfäffli family back in 1880’s brought here, invited by the state of Finland. Alps are not too far to reach by train either. It’s interesting to follow what will be decided about Finnish flight tax as the citizen initiative has been recently taken upon discussion in the government. Could we actually pay back some of our covid debts with that kind of tax income? 

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