Viscose, often presented as natural, is in fact the result of a very polluting manufacturing process. As we have seen, viscose comes from the transformation of cellulose into synthetic fibres.
To carry out this transformation, polluting solvents are used which are therefore harmful to the planet. This manufacturing process also has other important aspects: impact on deforestation, use of large quantities of water, danger to workers who handle the chemicals. And at the end of the day, these products can end up in the viscose fibres and therefore… on our skin!
More responsible viscose
The good news is that it is possible to produce a more responsible viscose by respecting certain manufacturing principles. This is the case with EcoVero® fibre.
This viscose is said to be ecological for several reasons:
- The raw material (wood or bamboo) used comes only from certified responsible forests;
- The manufacturing process is cleaner: according to the Higg MSI TM tools, the CO2, fossil resources and water used are reduced by about half compared to conventional viscose;
- The manufacturing process is certified as sustainable by the independent EU Ecolabel.
Another alternative to viscose: Lyocell and its derivatives
The manufacturing process for Lyocell is similar to that of viscose, except that the solvent used is non-toxic. The process is circular, i.e. 99% of the solvent is recovered for treatment and then reinjected into the circuit.
Tencel derivatives: Seacell® and Refibra®
Seacell is a Lyocell fibre combined with algae fibres! The seaweed is dried and milled to be incorporated into the cellulose fibres during the manufacturing process.
Refibra is a Lyocell fibre, this time combined with cotton (30%). This cotton is mainly sourced from cuttings or used textiles. The cotton fibres are mixed with cellulose and the tencel process is then applied. The manufacture of Refibra is therefore part of a circular economy logic as it uses the recovery of waste to create new clothing.