TENCEL™ Lyocell and Luxe fibres exemplify sustainability and closed-loop production in the textile industry. TENCEL™ is derived from nature, from renewable wood sources, and is fully biodegradable and home compostable, making a return to nature at the end of use. In TENCEL™ production, chemical inputs are captured and reused, instead of being released into the environment. Closed-loop production ensures that emission controls and chemical recovery rates are in line with EU Best Available Techniques.
The founder of our fabric supplier, Mozartex, Mozart Tseng was an early developer of dyeing and finishing techniques for TENCEL™ branded fibres dating back to 1992 in Taiwan. Mozart’s son, Mai actually worked with Lenzing directly to develop TENCEL™ Luxe, a filament lyocell which has silk-like properties. TENCEL™ Luxe is durable, meaning the garment will have a long life, and is celebrated for breathability, unlike synthetic fibres, and requires significantly less dye than cotton.
TENCEL™ production begins in FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) sustainably managed forests in Austria and surrounding European countries. Responsibly forested trees are turned into wood chips, resulting in zero waste; the wood mill utilises by-products such as acetic acid and turns them into biofuel used for renewable energy.
The wood pulp is then treated with water and organic solvents, 99% of which are reused, and pushed through small holes to form threads, chemically treated with the ‘NMMO process’ (the solution of N-Methylmorpholine N-oxide which is more easily recoverable, and a closed-loop solvent system means almost no solvent is dumped into the ecosystem), then spun into yarn and woven into cloth. Lenzing claim this process uses up to 50% less water, 50% less energy and has a 60% smaller carbon footprint than conventional cotton production.
Similar fabrics to TENCEL™, such as conventional rayon or viscose may use pulp sourced from endangered and ancient forests. Reports of companies supplying viscose to the international market dumping untreated wastewater in lakes and waterways has been linked to a lack of access to clean drinking water and higher incidence of serious diseases in local communities. Viscose production relies on a number of highly toxic and corrosive chemicals including; Carbon Disulphide (a hormone disrupting chemical) and Sulphuric Acid (which can cause corrosion, breathing difficulties, and is a known carcinogen), and omits by-products such as Hydrogen Sulphide, a highly toxic gas.
USDA CERTIFIED BIO BASED PRODUCT: TENCEL Lyocell fibers are produced from wood pulp from sustainably managed sources, a renewable resource. They have earned United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) BioPreferred® designation.
BIODEGRADABLE / COMPOSTABLE: Derived from nature, TENCEL™ Lyocell has been certified by the Belgian certification company Vinçotte as biodegradable and compostable under industrial, home, soil and marine conditions, thus they can fully revert back to nature.
EUROPEAN AWARD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT: Lenzing’s closed loop production process, which transforms wood pulp into TENCEL™ Lyocell fibres with high resource efficiency and low ecological impact, received the European Award for the Environment from the European Commission in the category “The Technology Award for Sustainable Development”.