Canadian hemp textile manufacturer Bast Fibre Technologies (BFT) says it’s secured “major strategic financing” from cleantech investment company Ahlström Capital.
BFT has not disclosed the sum to which it’s being funded by the Finnish venture capital firm, but it’s indicated that it will help facilitate the expansion of its manufacturing capacity at both its sites in North Carolina and Düsseldorf.
“The market for natural fibres is set for rapid growth, and this highly strategic funding will help BFT to solidify its position and further accelerate its expansion to meet the increasing demand for tree-free, plastic-free fibres,” Jim Posa, BFT’s chief executive told media.
With this financial backing, Bast Fibre has said it will produce over 10,000 metric tonnes of its Sero-branded hemp fibre by next year, and hopes to scale this up to more than 50,000 metric tonnes per annum by 2026.
“Nonwoven companies, converters, and leading consumer goods companies are looking for viable natural fibre options to achieve their corporate sustainability initiatives as they move away from synthetics,” Posa added.
Ahlström Capital has indicated that it invested in BFT in a bid to “help drive sustainable development” within the textile sector.
Speaking to the media, President and CEO, Lasse Heinonen said; “With a strong and experienced management team, BFT is well positioned to become a global leader in the production of sustainable bast fibres. We see sustainable value-creating opportunities in the company.”
Noel Hall, BFT’s board chair commented “It is important for us to work with an investor that shares our values and our vision of moving away from synthetic materials in nonwoven applications. Ahlström Capital has several complementary portfolio holdings in the nonwoven and sustainable fibre industries, making it both a natural fit and value-added investor for BFT.”