Camira Group takes stake in textile recycling business iinouiio
Camira Group has taken a majority stake in a pioneering UK textile recycling company called iinouiio to develop innovative new textile products based on textile circularity. Camira Yarns Ltd has become the majority shareholder in iinouiio – an acronym for “It is never over until it is over” – which has secured major investment funding to install state-of-the-art wool textile reprocessing machinery, the first of its kind in the UK for more than 20 years.
iinouiio was established in 2019 by Dr John Parkinson, who retains part ownership and will head up the new venture, building on a long-standing family history of textile recycling, working alongside his father over 40 years ago. Dr John Parkinson will be speaking at UKFT’s Sustainability in UK Textiles conference in May.
Pictured above: Dr John Parkinson holding old wool and cashmere clothing with Anthony Croall, Commercial Director at Camira, holding recycled wool fibre made from used garments.
Camira designs and manufactures contract fabrics for commercial interiors and passenger transport. The company’s fabrics are used in offices, hotels, schools, universities, shops and hospitals, as well as on buses, coaches and trains. End-user clients include Transport for London, LNER, Lloyds Banking Group, the BBC, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Google, Microsoft and Facebook.
Today Camira sells around 8 million metres of fabrics annually and in over 80 countries globally.
Headquartered in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, Camira operates manufacturing sites in and around Huddersfield giving the company textile manufacturing capabilities from yarn spinning, to weaving, dyeing and textile finishing and printing. There are sites in Birkby, Meltham and Holmfirth, a technical knitting plant in Nottingham, and a European manufacturing facility in Lithuania.
Starting with a recycled wool fabric made from army jumpers in the late 1990s, Camira innovated a new category of environmental textiles made from wool blended with harvested nettles, hemp and flax, and has a broad range of recycled polyester fabrics made from plastic bottles and, most recently, ocean plastic waste. The investment in iinouiio signals Camira’s commitment to accelerating its work in textile circularity, accessing unrivalled expertise, and using advanced manufacturing technology in natural fibre reprocessing to make new yarns and fabrics.
The iinouiio principle of textile repurposing will be adopted by Camira Yarns at the company’s Birkby, Huddersfield, facility which specialises in woollen spun yarns for commercial fabrics, providing a dedicated ground floor location for the new processing machinery together with a self-contained showroom to promote the capability.
Capital expenditure funding, amounting to £165,000, has been awarded by UK registered environmental charity WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) which works on wide-ranging projects to achieve a circular economy and divert waste away from landfill. This will provide brand new machinery to set up a new textile reprocessing line which will convert high value raw materials – from textile manufacturing waste and pre-loved wool and cashmere products – back into fibre which can then be re-spun into new yarn to make new fabric.
The machinery is due to be installed in April and will be used to produce iinouiio-branded products, provide take-back schemes for manufacturers and retailers, and open new recycled product opportunities for Camira.
Dr John Parkinson said: “The fit with Camira is perfect for iinouiio: two like-minded companies who share a passion for textiles and sustainability who together can take textile circularity to another level. The installation of the new recycling line will be a milestone for the UK textile industry and iinouiio are thrilled that it will be located within the Camira Yarns facility in Huddersfield.”
Anthony Croall, Camira Group Commercial Director, who concluded the deal on behalf of Camira, said: “We’re genuinely excited about this fantastic opportunity, which not only builds on the sustainability reputation of Camira, but will position us as a market leader in textile circularity. Market demands for less waste and eco-conscious consumers have now put textile recycling at the top of the agenda, so we can’t wait to get working with John to develop the iinouiio brand alongside new environmental products and initiatives from Camira.”
iinouiio is an innovative start-up business, established in 2019, which seeks to repurpose and recycle wool and luxury fibre textile waste for designers, artisans, textile specialists and fashion brands. The company gives pre-loved apparel and post-industrial yarn and fabric remnants a second life as new yarn and fabric.
Dr John Parkinson was the founder of a similar business ‘Evergreen’ over 30 years ago which enjoyed commercial success with high street brands and international conservation charities until the mid 1990s.
iinouiio has been awarded funding for equipment from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) as part of a three-year plan to divert textile waste away from landfill and to carry out research and development by the Business of Fashion, Textiles & Technology (BFTT), which is a fifteen-month industry-led project that
focuses on delivering sustainable innovation within the entire fashion and textile supply chain.
In addition to creating its own brand yarns and fabrics from recycled textiles and responsible production methods, iinouiio is able to repurpose waste from wool and luxury fibre manufacturers, so they can offer these new materials (made from waste) to their customers as never before.