Finland’s First Lady stuns in birch tree-based gown

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In Finland, Jenni Haukio, the wife of Finnish president Sauli Niinistö, wore a gown made from the region’s birch trees to a gala celebrating the country’s 101st of independence.

The gown was designed and produced at Aalto University using loncell, a technology that converts a range of raw materials—including wood, recycled newspaper and cardboard, and used cotton textiles—into fiber suitable for spinning into yarn.

“Fabric made from Ioncell is soft to touch. It has a lovely sheen and falls beautifully. Most importantly, it’s an environmentally sustainable option,” Pirjo Kääriäinen, Professor of Practice at Aalto University, tells Eurekalert. The material also does not use any toxic chemicals in its processing and is biodegradable. The university aims to build a loncell pilot unit by 2020.