For almost a century, LENZING Group have been pioneering textiles manufactured from natural resources. Their fibres are produced from renewable cellulosic plants such as beech trees, pine trees, and bamboo.
Their flagship brand Tencel™ harvests trees from sustainably managed forests to create Lyocell, which is a form of rayon. Pulp is produced from wood chips in mills run on renewable energy, that is then made into recyclable fibres through a process that reuses >99% of organic solvents and water. This example of a closed loop production process has far less impact on our planet, which is why we couldn't resist making Tencel™ part of the Komodo fibre family!
However, there are many manufacturers of rayon. Even with the advancements that have been made over time, most rayon manufacturing processes in use today are not considered environmentally friendly. In fact, they use a range of polluting chemicals and heavy metals. On the other hand, lyocell manufacturing, and that of Tencel™ in particular, is an extremely environmentally friendly process.
Factfile: what is rayon?
Rayon is a manufactured fibre made from natural resources. There are many types of rayon fibres, often with properties similar to natural fibres like cotton, wool and silk. LENZING Group are one company to have created a form of rayon, branding it Tencel™.
Since regenerated fibers do not qualify for organic certification, other eco standards that review the entire process chain for growing and harvesting the trees through the manufacturing and treatment processes must be applied to these fibers. One such award that has been given to Lenzing for Tencel™ is the European Eco-Label, which addresses compliance with high environmental standards for production and products.
As early as 1963, Lenzing started recycling the chemicals from pulp production after the company switched from the calcium bisulphite method to an environmentally friendly magnesium bisulphite method.
The revolutionary aspect of Tencel™ manufacturing is the recovery and reuse of up to 99.8 percent of the solvent and the remaining emissions are broken down in biological water treatment plants. In fact, the solvent is not acidic, does not remain in the fiber, and has been proven harmless in dermatological and toxicological tests.
Finally, we need to remember that much of the total environmental impact of textile goods comes from their care. With lyocell fabrics, there is no need for fabric softener or whitening agents, and energy and water use can be decreased due to shorter washing machine cycles. So with this knowledge and careful shopping for respected eco-friendly labels, you can buy textiles from manufactured fibers that can be considered to be green.
At KOMODO we use Tencel in our products in many different ways, always trying to blend our fabrics responsibly. Not only do we make garments out of 100% Tencel but we also create products using a Tencel & Organic Cotton blend. This creates a eco-friendly garment that provides long lasting softness and comfort.