With fabrics derived from wood pulp like rayon, viscose, modal and lyocell estimated to double global production in the next decade, its urgent that consumers only buy trademarked fabrics that show their transparent lineage in order to stem deforestation.
"I see a lot of "deforestation viscose" being sold by designers and fabric wholesalers, even some saying it's "Tencel" fabric when in fact its fake, and they're illegally using the trademark name of Austrian company LENZING™ whose TENCEL™ viscose is one of the top eco-textiles in the world", says Alison Jose, of STSC. Sustainable Textile Supply Chain.
These cellulosic fabrics start their journey as trees, however environmental not-for-profit Canopy, shows research that both ancient and endangered forests are increasingly making their way into clothing.
Canopy works with the forest industry’s biggest customers and their suppliers to develop business solutions that protect endangered forests, and Lenzing received forestry accreditation from Canopy.
"Depending on the region, 35 to 60 percent of the world’s forests continue to be felled to manufacture the products we consume, from tee shirts to toilet paper. The loss of these critical forests puts species, communities and our climate at risk."
Canopy's latest Hot Button Report in December 2019 shows three major producers, Lenzing, Birla Cellulose, and filament yarn producer ENKA, representing 28% of global viscose supply, attained the top ‘light green shirt’ rankings.
In an effort to both educate and support fashion designers to gain access to true sustainable textiles, STSC works closely with Lenzing and associated Mills to offer small fabric MOQs (min order quantity) opportunities. This is especially important for emerging designers as most Mills usually only produce MOQs of 1,000 metres which is both expensive but also causing material waste.
STSC are one of the first wholesalers to focus particularly on LENZING™ ECOVERO™ - the latest branded viscose, and one of the most sustainable produced viscose fibers in the world. Derived from sustainable wood and pulp, coming from Europe's highest certification forest sources, it also sets the benchmark to achieve 99.8% closed loop capture when making the yarn.
"I think this new step-up in sustainable production is definitely evident as its got an earthier feel than all other viscose fabrics and designers are telling me how it has a really gorgeous drape so its a win-win," says Alison.
More eco than even organic cotton as it requires drastically less water when grown because generally a cotton plant requires the same amount of water whether it's organic or not. Good news however is that "80% of organic cotton is rain-fed, which reduces pressure on local water sources. The absence of chemicals also means that water is cleaner and safer.
Cotton is often grown in water-scarce areas using irrigation and it takes 2,700 liters of water to make a conventional cotton t-shirt," writes aboutorganiccotton.org
In an effort to help stop the use of regular viscose that causes mass deforestation and the release of toxic chemicals, plus educate both designers and customers, STSC ensures that designers receive trademarked swing tags with the fabric, so designers can show material transparency and help with their marketing.
STSC has a current Batch order of low MOQ EcoVero fabric available to purchase online at https://www.sustainabletextiles.club/blog/ecovero