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Why We Love TENCEL™ Lyocell - High Quality From Nature

3 min read

Why We Love TENCEL™ Lyocell - High Quality From Nature

TENCEL™ Lyocell is our material of the month for April. A luscious botanic origin fiber, TENCEL™ Lyocell is made by the global leader in wood-based fibers, Lenzing AG, whose tagline is “innovative by nature”. 

Lenzing has efficiently harnessed the power of photosynthesis, bringing nature back into fashion! 

With these posts, it’s our objective to clarify the hidden nature of the most eco-friendly materials we use. As a sustainable fashion brand, choosing better fibers lies at the heart of what we do. 

Is TENCELLyocell a natural material? 

TENCEL™ fibers are sourced from a natural material - wood - but they are technically classified as semi-synthetic fibers. That’s because TENCEL™ production involves the use of solvents to break down the raw material into pulp (similar to paper production). TENCEL™ Lyocell is therefore a man-made material. 

How Does TENCEL™ Lyocell Production Protect Nature? 

Every material, every business, and every human being (!) creates an impact on nature. There’s no getting around that. But some processes are more environmentally friendly than others. This is how TENCEL™ Lyocell represents the cutting-edge of eco-friendly textiles: 

1. Integrated Into Nature’s Cycle

Lenzing - and the TENCEL™ team - have made every effort to make sure that their product follows nature’s cycle. Which is to say, it is extracted from a natural material, formulated with an “environmentally responsible” production process and returned to the earth in an equally natural way. Of both their TENCEL™ branded Modal and Lyocell fibers, Lenzing says that they “are certified as compostable and biodegradable, and thus can fully revert back to nature.

This is important in fashion because many of the most common textiles are not biodegradable. Synthetics like polyester, polyamide and nylon will take hundreds of years to break down in the environment. 

2. Closed Loop Production

The award-winning production process behind TENCEL™ Lyocell offers “high resource efficiency” and “low environmental impact”. That’s because the biorefineries which make TENCEL™ fibers are fine-tuned to reduce waste and maximise solvent recovery. “Closed loop production” basically means that waste is turned into new value within a system, instead of being treated as trash.  

3. No Microfiber Pollution

Microfibers are a pretty controversial issue in the fashion industry. Fully synthetic fibers produce tiny microplastics that then work their way into freshwater ecosystems, eventually ending up in the ocean. Due to their biodegradability, TENCEL™ fibers are not associated with this problem. 

4. Certified Zero Carbon

TENCEL™ fibers are certified carbon neutral by Climate Partner, which is the same company TWOTHIRDS works with to maintain our status as a climate neutral company

How? TENCEL™ fibers are produced using clean, renewable energy, and involve reduced CO₂ emissions. Collectively, Lenzing is also committed to reducing, engaging and offsetting their carbon emissions to hit Net Zero by 2050. 

Carbon neutral products and companies are super important for the global drive to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions, and stay within the planet’s remaining “carbon budget”. 

5. Circular Solutions

That’s not all! Lenzing is also committed to producing circular solutions for the fashion industry. Their TENCEL™ Lyocell with REFIBRA technology is a prime example: where up to 30% of virgin TENCEL™ Lyocell fiber is produced by existing textile waste. This can come from cotton cut-offs from factories or post-consumer goods (clothing that’s been thrown away). This is effectively upcycling, since TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers offer superior quality compared to conventional cotton. 

You’ll know which TWOTHIRDS styles have benefited from this groundbreaking technology, by noting the composition: TENCEL™ X REFIBRA™. 

Why Does TWOTHIRDS Love TENCEL™ Lyocell? 

TENCEL™ Lyocell ticks every box on our design checklist, from sustainability through to high quality and comfort. TENCEL™ Lyocell also drapes beautifully, making it look especially elegant in dresses and jumpsuits. Our customers (and team!) often prize its peach-like softness. Plus, it completely chimes in with the TWOTHIRDS mission to conserve environments and protect nature. What more could you ask for in a fiber?! 

TENCEL™ and REFIBRA™ are trademarks of Lenzing AG.