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5 Mind Blowing Facts About TENCEL™ You Didn’t Know Before!

3 min read

5 Mind Blowing Facts About TENCEL™ You Didn’t Know Before!

Luscious TENCEL™ fibers are at the heart of the sustainable fashion movement. Loved by brands and consumers alike, they are distinguished by their gentle touch and environmentally-friendly production process. That said, there are plenty of facts about TENCEL™ fibers that people don’t know - a shortfall we hope to fix. 

Many of TWOTHIRDS’ most popular garments are made from TENCEL™ Lyocell, so it’s safe to say that we know quite a bit about it. By the end of this article, you will too!  

What’s in a name? Defining TENCEL™

TENCEL™ has been produced since at least the early 1990s, when it stormed the denim market. It is a branded type of wood-based cellulosic fibers available in two qualities, Lyocell or Modal. While you may have come across unbranded forms of Lyocell or Modal, TENCEL™ represents the top tier of sustainability. This is due to a closed loop production system, sustainable wood sourcing policy, and carbon zero approach. 

Think of TENCEL™ as the gold (or green!) standard of cellulose fibers. Interestingly the name TENCEL™ came from the “cel” in cellulose” and the “ten” in tenacity - a possible reference to the fiber’s high tensile strength and tear resistance.

5 Facts About TENCEL™ Lyocell

1. TENCEL™ Lyocell Biodegrades Under Water AND Land Conditions

The odds are that when you first come into contact with TENCEL™ Lyocell you’re not really thinking about its end-of-life - namely, what happens to the supersoft fiber after you’ve worn it. But this stage is an important one, because some fibers (primarily synthetics like polyester) won’t biodegrade naturally. By contrast, all TENCEL™ standard Lyocell fiber types have been certified as biodegradable and compostable under industrial, home, soil, freshwater and marine conditions, thus they can fully revert back to nature.

We’ve always loved this particular fact because it aligns with our mission to protect the ocean. When placed in marine settings, researchers found that TENCEL™ Lyocell could biodegrade fully in just 30 days. 

2. Recycles 99.8% Of Solvents

TENCEL™ Lyocell is made by Lenzing AG, who pioneered a closed loop system that recovers and reuses 99.8% of solvents - a staggering statistic that reflects TENCEL™ Lyocell’s superior ecological footprint. The reuse of solvents reduces both residual waste and resource use. 

This economically viable manufacturing process received the European Award for the Environment from the European Commission in the category “The Technology Award for Sustainable Development”.

3. Appears Brighter Than Cotton Fabrics

TENCEL™ Lyocell offers ‘efficient dye uptake’, which means that colour can penetrate deeply into the fiber structure. This results in more vibrant colours, a fact that is aided by the smooth surface area (creating a light sheen) - helping TENCEL™ fibers to appear brighter and more intense than regular cotton fabrics. This is another reason to prefer TENCEL™ Lyocell over duller looking textiles. Colour is the language of fashion, a form of expression and a way to stand out from the crowd. Rather than detract from this, TENCEL™ Lyocell opens up more kaleidoscopic possibilities.

4. 100% Of Wood Is Sourced Sustainably

TENCEL™ fiber is derived from 100% certified or controlled wood sources. Unlike uncertified cellulose fibers, such as conventional rayon and viscose, this prevents deforestation and protects endangered / old growth tree species. As cellulosic fibers like TENCEL™ Lyocell come straight from a natural resource, it makes a big difference that Lenzing has made such an absolute commitment to sustainable forest management. 

In some partner plantations, ecological corridors also connect fragments of native forest, providing a haven (and highway) for thousands of species. For detailed information on Lenzing’s efforts to improve biodiversity in forestry, see here

5. Contributes To Breathability

TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers have a higher vapor uptake than cotton. This supports the body’s natural thermal regulating mechanism, keeping skin cool and dry. 

TENCEL™’s unique structure and good water retention also makes the material less favourable to bacterial growth. Taken together, these facts explain why TENCEL™ Lyocell produces a refreshing, cool feeling. Perfect for our Mediterranean climate!

Conclusion

A revolutionary fiber, TENCEL™ Lyocell is soft on the skin while being gentle on the environment. From sourcing to disposal, it is designed to be more sustainable than conventional fashion materials. That’s why, for the second year running, this fiber made up 8% of our total material share in 2022. Watch out for more TENCEL™ Lyocell styles in our upcoming collections! 

TENCEL™ is a trademark of Lenzing AG.