The question of whether viscose fabric is biodegradable is addressed in this article as we look at sustainable alternatives to it.
Recent years have seen a rise in the use of eco-friendly fabrics in clothing design by numerous brands. For instance, viscose fabric made from plant cellulose is derived from natural, environmentally friendly sources like bamboo viscose fiber.
But is viscose biodegradable? The short answer is that 100% viscose fabrics can indeed break down in about one year. However, keep in mind that a lot of clothing is made from blends of viscose fibers that might not entirely degrade.
We’ll examine this query in this piece and offer a solution supported by empirical data.
Is Viscose Biodegradable?
Is viscose biodegradable? The answer is yes and no. Cellulose, a naturally occurring polymer found in plants, is the basis for viscose. Microorganisms can degrade cellulose because it is biodegradable.
However, several chemical processes, such as the use of caustic soda, carbon disulfide, and sulfuric acid, are required to convert cellulose into viscose. If they are not properly managed, these chemicals may be damaging to the environment and result in pollution.
In addition, the production of viscose consumes a sizable amount of energy and water, both of which can have a detrimental effect on the environment. The consumption of water and energy can lead to the release of greenhouse gases and the depletion of natural resources like fresh water.
The production and disposal of viscose can have a significant negative impact on the environment even though the substance itself is biodegradable.
It’s important to remember that not all viscose is the same. Traditional viscose, lyocell, and modal are a few of the different varieties of viscose. Newer and more environmentally friendly viscose varieties like lyocell and modal are produced using a closed-loop system.
This results in less waste and pollution because the chemicals used in the production process are recycled and used again. The production of lyocell and modal uses wood pulp from sustainably managed forests, minimizing the impact on the environment.
As a result, viscose’s biodegradability is a complicated matter that needs to be given careful thought. Viscose itself may be biodegradable, but the production and disposal of it can have a significant negative impact on the environment.
It’s critical to choose viscose that is environmentally responsible and sustainable, like lyocell and modal, and to properly manage the production and disposal of all varieties of viscose. We can guarantee that we are using textiles that are cozy and considerate of the environment by doing this.
Sustainable Alternatives to Viscose Fabric
Viscose fabric alternatives that are sustainable have emerged to address these environmental issues. One such alternative is Tencel, a fabric made from eucalyptus trees.
In order to reduce waste and pollution, the chemicals used in the production of Tencel are recycled and reused in a closed-loop system. Tencel can naturally degrade without endangering the environment because it is biodegradable.
Another sustainable alternative to viscose is bamboo fabric. It takes less water and pesticides to grow bamboo than cotton(See the Biodegradability of Cotton), and it grows quickly. In order to minimize waste and pollution, bamboo fabric is also produced using a closed-loop system. Viscose is less sustainable than bamboo fabric because it is also biodegradable.
Hemp fabric is another sustainable alternative to viscose. A plant with many uses, hemp can be grown with little pesticide and water use. In order to minimize waste and pollution, hemp fabric is also produced using a closed-loop system. Viscose is not as sustainable as hemp fabric, which is also biodegradable.
Related: Is Jute Biodegradable?
Is Bamboo Viscose Biodegradable?
For their newest collections, many fashion companies and designers use viscose made from bamboo. Some of the most widely used fabrics for clothing are rayon and viscose, both of which are derived from plants or wood fibers, such as bamboo.
Viscose made of bamboo cannot be degraded. Both rayon and viscose are manufactured fabrics. They are not natural, but rather semi-synthetic cellulosic fibers made from wood pulp, despite the fact that they are produced using renewable resources.
Shirts, dresses, underwear, sportswear, pants, jackets, hats, and shoes are all made out of viscose and rayon fabrics.
Is Rayon Biodegradable?
Rayon and viscose aren’t biodegradable. It takes decades for textiles made of bamboo viscose to break down in landfills. As they break down, they release harmful gases, carbon dioxide, and methane, which add to pollution and global warming.
When semi-synthetic fabrics like rayon and viscose are washed, bleached, dyed, and treated with numerous hazardous chemicals, the chemicals are released into the air, soil, and water.
Cellulosic fibers that end up in the oceans can take hundreds of years to decompose because of the cooler temperatures, lack of sunlight, and oxygen.
Conclusion: the Biodegradability of Viscose
While viscose can biodegrade under the right conditions, its production process and blending with synthetic fibers make it a less sustainable option. By choosing eco-friendly fabrics and buying from companies that value sustainability, consumers can influence change.
To reduce the impact of viscose products on the environment, it is crucial to take into account their entire lifecycle and make sure they are disposed of properly.
Is Viscose An Eco-friendly Fabric?
Because viscose is made from renewable plants, it is frequently cited as being environmentally friendly, and sustainable.
Is Viscose Good Or Bad for the Environment?
The chemical treatment of wood pulp, which is used to make viscose, is followed by filtration and spinning into fine thread. This is a highly polluting process and releases many toxic chemicals into the air and waterways surrounding production plants.
What Fabric is Not Eco-friendly?
Polyester, acrylic, rayon, nylon, and conventional cotton are the least sustainable fabrics. Since most polyesters are non-biodegradable, they can take up to 200 years to decompose in landfills, where they are frequently used in clothing products.