A new vegetable textile fiber is under development

Specializing in skills transfer, Link 2 Business World (L2BW) has been implementing an innovative project since 2016: the production of vegetable yarn from the fibers of succulent plants that can be used in the textile industry.

With the support of the Business Partnership Facility (BPF), this project started in Senegal and is being carried out in Côte d’Ivoire, in geographical areas where the climatic conditions are ideal for these plants. ” A nursery was established and a yarn production unit was established with an industrial partner ” explains Laurence Peschel, co-founder of L2BW.

The project was developed in partnership with a research laboratory that carried out a scientific feasibility study, but also and primarily with local farmers and women’s cooperatives. ” In this spirit of transfer of technology and know-how that drives our company, these women are trained in growing plants, raking leaves, using machines, etc. to make them autonomous. “says Lawrence Peschel.

This activity is fully integrated into the logic of sustainable development: it offers the textile industry a recyclable, durable and sustainable alternative, thanks to an operating process that respects the environment, which values ​​a part of the factory previously unused. In addition, the project helps to prevent population migration by offering permanent local jobs, promoting the integration of women and improving their income. Finally, this initiative makes it possible to stop desertification thanks to plants adapted to survive in dry environments, which store water in their leaves, stems or roots.

In one year, L2BW aims to produce up to one ton of textile fiber. In the long term, the fibers may have other uses, in the construction sector, in the search for natural insulation materials or even in the (para)medical field.

Co-financing of innovative and sustainable projects

Every year the BPF supports these types of projects: innovative business projects that contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals, implemented by Luxembourg or European companies with partners (companies, administrations or civil society) in developing countries. ” BPF co-funding helped us structure and launch the project and purchase the equipment needed for fiber cultivation and processing. “says Lawrence Peschel.

Initiated and funded by the Department for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Action of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and implemented by LuxDev, Luxembourg’s development cooperation agency, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, BPF co-financing can reach 50%. Total project budget, maximum 200,000 euros.

As Lawrence Peschel admits, “ Applying to the BPF is an opportunity not to be missed for any company wishing to implement a project in a developing country: the process is fast, the funding offered is substantial and can be implemented very quickly.. It’s really a great adventure. »

Companies interested in this co-financing can apply until October 20, 2022.

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