Viscose fabric is a type of rayon fabric that is synthetic. So people are wondering whether viscose is eco-friendly.
Viscose is a flexible fashion industry mainstay that is used in everything from formal attire to athletic apparel. However, this ever-present fabric has made some serious environmental missteps and is often produced in shadowy supply chains, leaving us all wondering, is viscose eco-friendly?
The answer is categorically no at this time. It could be, though. Viscose need not be as harmful to the environment as it currently is when properly managed and produced.
I’ll go over viscose fabric in this article, its benefits and drawbacks, and how to pick the best kind for your requirements.
Is Viscose Eco-friendly?
It is natural and biodegradable because viscose is made from wood. However, the majority of viscose is made from wood that is not sourced from renewable sources or sustainably managed forests, which contributes to deforestation.
Additionally, the production processes used to turn the wood pulp into fibers use chemicals that are bad for the environment and for people as well as a lot of water.
How Sustainable is Viscose?
A truly fascinating fabric is viscose. However, this makes it a simple target for fast-fashion companies. Really, when you think about it, it has everything it needs to be a best seller: a look and feel that consumers want, as well as a very persuasive price tag.
Cellulosic fibers, which are becoming more and more popular, are thought to account for 7% of the industry’s volume. Only cotton and polyester are said to be used more frequently than viscose.
The mass production that is the foundation of the fast fashion business model also puts constant pressure on suppliers to deliver more at a lower price. Sincerely, this is the cause of all fashion’s ills and the main reason it is regarded as a major cause of pollution.
Environmental Impact of Viscose
When compared to other fabrics like traditional cotton (a filthy crop that requires a lot of water and pesticides to thrive) and polyester (made from oil), viscose is frequently hailed as being more environmentally friendly.
This is due to the fact that it is made of natural materials and that the production process, when carried out in a sustainable “closed-loop” manner, doesn’t produce a lot of hazardous emissions or waste valuable resources like water.
However, some people are worried about how some viscose manufacturing facilities will affect the environment. For instance, the production of viscose rayon frequently makes use of hazardous chemicals like sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide.
These substances have the potential to contaminate the air and water if not handled properly. If workers are not sufficiently protected, they may also be dangerous.
Additionally, some less environmentally friendly crops used to produce viscose are expanding due to the demand for wood fiber. Ecosystems might be under stress, and deforestation might result.
The fashion industry is built on innovation. Viscose was the result of such innovation and now companies are innovating again to make these sustainable alternatives:
Modal is a popular material in eco-friendly activewear and a slightly more eco-friendly substitute for conventional viscose. In order to prevent contributing to deforestation, truly sustainable modal, which is typically made from beech trees, must be sourced from managed forests.
Even though managed forests account for a sizable portion of the modal supply, it is crucial to verify this by looking into a particular brand’s supply chains.
Tencel lyocell, a viable substitute for viscose, requires less dye than cotton and is biodegradable when used alone or in isolation from other textile fibers. Chemicals are needed to make Tencel lyocell, but not the same ones as for making viscose. The closed-loop system in use makes these chemicals easier to recover.
Lenzing EcoVero, arguably the most environmentally friendly viscose substitute, is made in Europe exclusively from FSC or PEFC-certified wood. The versatile fabric is created from this sustainably sourced material. Lenzing EcoVero has even received EU Ecolabel Certification.
Conclusion: is Viscose Eco-friendly?
Given that viscose is made from wood pulp, one might initially assume that it is environmentally friendly. Depending on the manufacturing method and chemicals employed, the eco-credentials quickly fade, though. Though it’s not the worst material available, there are better options for sustainability.
Viscose was a textile industry innovation, and we have the ability to adopt new ones to build a sector that is genuinely sustainable. Affluent forests, clean water, or the health of people should never be sacrificed for fashion.
Is Viscose Good Or Bad for the Environment?
In order to create viscose, the wood pulp must first undergo chemical treatment before being filtered and spun into a fine thread. This is a highly polluting process and releases many toxic chemicals into the air and waterways surrounding production plants.
Is Viscose 100% Biodegradable?
100% viscose yarn is made from 100% cellulose. One of the crucial advantages of viscose over synthetics is that it is biodegradable.
Is Viscose Better Than Polyester?
Polyester is more moisture-wicking while viscose is more absorbent. In comparison to viscose, polyester dries quicker and is less likely to wrinkle. Polyester does not shrink and is stronger. Polyester resists abrasion while viscose is more likely to pill.