VISCOSE is the third most popular textile fiber in the world (after polyester and cotton). Like polyester, it is a light and flowy fabric. It became more popular with the rise of fast fashion brands because it is a cheap fabric.
It is a man-made semi-synthetic fiber derived from wood pulp. This process is highly polluting and releases many toxic chemicals into the environment.
Deforestation and cutting down trees in protected rain forest areas are one of the main negative side-effects of viscose production. As you know, trees capture and store carbon dioxide (CO2), one of the Green House Gasses* that causes global warming. The more trees we cut down, the less chance we have to slow down and stop climate change.
Now, when you know how sustainable is viscose fiber or better unsustainable, here is a good thing.
There is a more sustainable alternative to conventional viscose such as:
Austrian company LENZING produces all these fibers in a closed-loop process. They source wood only from certified renewable wood sources (beech/ eucalyptus wood) using an eco-responsible production process.
Other alternatives to conventional viscose include:
- Orange Fiber – made from waste citrus juice by-product, and
- SeaCell™ – made of seaweed.
What can you do choose clothes that are more sustainable? Here are some ideas:
- When you buy new clothes, check the clothes tag to see what fibers they are made from, favor more sustainable fabrics such as linen, hemp, organic cotton, Lenzing Ecovero viscose, ethical silk, or recycled polyester,
- wear your clothes longer (don’t throw them away just because they are not in fashion)- donate them, swap them, or try to sell them,
- follow washing instructions and wash them when needed – not after one use if you didn’t sweat or made them dirty,
- start using swapping websites/apps, visit your local send-hand store, and online marketplaces such as Vinted, thredUP, or Depop. You will save money AND act as an eco-conscious consumer at the same time.
*What are greenhouse gasses?
- Carbon dioxide,
- Methane, and
- Nitrous oxide.
Greenhouse gasses are able to trap and hold heat in the atmosphere. Because the atmosphere warms up, it leads to the so-called greenhouse effect. And subsequently to global warming.