As sustainability spreads rapidly in the fashion industry, brands and retailers are increasingly looking for solutions that boost a greener market economy. And for the fiber company Lenzing, a fervent focus on forests – and the evolution of sustainable wood-based raw materials – is its panacea for further advances in space.
One of the brightest stars in the Lenzing constellation is TENCEL ™, the company’s branded lyocell and modal fibers, produced with eco-sustainable processes from natural wood and from sustainable sources. To celebrate its 30th This year’s anniversary for TENCEL ™, the company sports the slogan “Feel Good Fibers Since 1992,” a proclamation of its long-standing commitment to fiber innovation.
Its latest campaign, aptly titled “Wood You”, emphasizes the sustainable sourcing of its wood – a natural and renewable raw material – which is sustainably grown, harvested and processed directly or indirectly from a wide variety of wood types. which come from different tree species and regions, all derived from sustainably managed forests or plantations. Accompanied by his “We Wood. With the slogan Wood, Lenzing is leading the push for the “forest fashion cycle”.
Nearly 65% of global textile consumption is made up of synthetic fibers from fossil fuels, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), but the industry is making great strides against Old World methods for materials and procurement. Global retailers such as H&M and Zara integrate fabrics made with wood-based fibers into its collections, as well as the usual suspects such as Reformation, Stella McCartney, Patagonia and The North Face, among many others.
Improving wood value chains also emerges through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which have become a widely known and adopted benchmark for brands and retailers to measure their sustainability successes.
For example, Adidas, which recently unveiled its first hoodie made with wood-based fibers, has progressed in adopting the SDGs through responsible consumption and production (SDG 12). Or Levi Strauss & Co., in partnership with the Canopy Forest Conservation Initiative, supplies 100% of its wood-based fibers through the company to protect the world’s ancient and endangered forests from participating in the supply chain (SDG 17).
From the forest to the factory
But for Lenzing, its evolution of sustainable raw materials takes shape by pushing the proverbial limits.
Lenzing’s proprietary REFIBRA ™ technology recycles cotton waste by converting it into cotton pulp and up to a third of it is added to the pulp, resulting in a combined raw material that is processed to produce new virgin TENCEL ™ lyocell fibers that they produce fabrics and garments. The vision is to make cellulose fiber recycling as common as paper recycling, and one way to do this is to keep materials in constant circulation through the forest fashion cycle. To drastically reduce waste and take it one step further in its mission for circular fashion, they launched zero-carbon TENCEL ™ fibers, made with REFIBRA ™ technology.
On the occasion of its one-year anniversary for the expansion of TENCEL ™ brand lyocell and modal fibers to zero-carbon status last September, its goal to provide solutions to fashion brands to meet their reduction targets. carbon and Lenzing’s commitment to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050 – through its REFIBRA ™ technology it has been adopted by brands and factories across the value chain, such as JACK & JONES and World Textile Sourcing.
The company has also entered into a partnership with Södra, a Swedish pulp producer, with the joint goal of treating 25,000 tonnes of textile waste annually by 2025 compared to the millions of tonnes of waste currently created each year, most of which of which ends up in landfills. Together, the companies developed wood-based OnceMore® pulp, which will be used as raw material to produce Lenzing’s TENCEL ™ x REFIBRA ™ brand fibers.
These key innovations and partnerships set a strategic direction for achieving an industry-wide transition to forest-based textiles, which are a viable solution for the use or replacement of agricultural and fossil products, and the use of wood sourced from sustainably managed forests supports biodiversity, too.
Nicole Rycroft, Canopy Founder and Executive Director, said, “In this pivotal decade for our planet, producing forest-based textiles from recycled fabrics is critical to protecting biodiversity, relieving pressure on forests and addressing growing climate crisis. Canopy is thrilled to see these two great manufacturers join forces to bring viable next generation solutions to the fashion industry. We look forward to seeing more commercial volumes enter the market. “
And for Lenzing, his recent successes serve as an impetus to move forward and with speed. In the last reporting year, Lenzing received a triple “A” rating on the CDP score, earning a “dark green jersey” for the second time in Canopy’s Hot Button Report. Lenzing has also gone the extra mile by shifting the transport of some incoming materials from road to rail, improving its carbon footprint.
Florian Heubrandner, Vice President Global Textiles Business at Lenzing AG, said that “While more and more supply chain partners, brands and retailers are proactively looking for ways to reduce carbon emissions to align with the UN’s global climate goals. , the textile industry still has a long journey to reach its zero carbon emissions target ”.
“We hope that by sharing our latest innovations such as zero-carbon TENCEL ™ branded fibers with REFIBRA ™ technology, we can make zero-carbon initiatives traditional practices, ultimately achieving a zero-carbon textile industry. “.