Thoughts on viscose
Viscose (also known as rayon) is a wonderfully soft, drapey and breathable textile material. It is mainly made from trees, which are turned into wood pulp and processed into fibres. However, with the very wide use of viscose in textiles, it takes many trees to make viscose, and deforestation and forest exploitation is common. This is of course problematic, as we know how important trees are for the climate, for the absorption of CO2, biodiversity, animal habitats, indigenous people etc. Another problem is that the industrial processing of wood come at a cost – again – with an intensive use of chemicals.
Along the way, we learned about new viscose materials that had become available on the market. These new options were made of wood from forests that are replanted and sustainably managed (FSC- or PEFC-certified). Additionally, these types of forests are even processed industrially in a closed loop, reusing the water and chemicals that are used in making the fibres.
We also learned that viscose is branded either EcoVeroTM or Birla Cellulose. And once again, having this knowledge meant that there was no going back. Therefore, in 2018, we set a second ambitious goal to only use viscose derived from replanted and sustainably managed forests, which are processed in a closed loop. We achieved our goal by the end of 2021.
We have also committed to only use paper derived from sustainably managed forestry. But that was an easier change to make.
To be continued…