What makes Tencel a Sustainable Fabric?
As we move from fast fashion to sustainable fashion, more designers are taking the time to experiment with new raw materials and ways to make our everyday clothing more eco-friendly.
One such environmentally sustainable material that is leading the charge is Tencel. Created by Austrian company Lenzing, Tencel is the brand name for two types of fibres, Lyocell and Modal.
So what makes this fabric a good choice for the ethical and environmentally-conscious clothing brand or consumer? In this article, we dive into what makes Tencel a sustainable fabric.
How is Tencel Made?
Tencel is made by mixing wood pulp with a solvent and putting them through a process called spinning to create cellulosic fibres. Parent company Lenzing states that the wood used for Tencel fibres are sourced from natural forests and sustainably-managed plantations. This makes it naturally biodegradable as it is made from plant fibres. Cotton scraps from other garment production plants are also upcycled in addition to the wood pulp using the company’s pioneering REFRIBA technology.
Tencel is perhaps best known for its closed-loop production process, which is rated highly in resource efficiency and low on environmental impact. The production process recycles water and solvent to be reused at a reported recovery rate of more than 99%. This saves water and minimises waste.
What About Chemicals and Dyes?
The chemicals and dyes used during bleaching and colouring are one of the worst offenders when it comes to pollution in the textile industry.
Tencel’s Modal fibres uses elemental chlorine-free techniques in bleaching of their wood pulp which prevents the formation of toxic environmental pollutants like dioxins or carcinogens.
Meanwhile, the fibres are coloured with a process called dope dyeing, which uses less resources compared to traditional methods. Dope dyeing is performed in tandem with the spinning process so no water is used and a lesser amount of dye is needed. Colour pigments are deeply embedded into the fibres for long lasting colour-fastness and attractive uniform colours.
How Does Tencel Feel?
All of these sustainable practices are well and good, but how does Tencel feel? And does it measure up to the natural and synthetic materials available to us today, in terms of comfort, breathability and durability?
Tencel is exceptionally breathable and more absorbent than cotton. Great for regulating body heat while keeping your skin feeling cool and dry. As a bonus, Tencel fibres are strong and able to maintain its softness over repeated washes. These properties make them an ideal alternative to synthetic man-made fibres like polyester for both activewear and general clothing.
Invest in quality and durable clothing in a design you love and you’ll have a garment that makes you feel good and look good for life. Little Match Girl is an exclusively online sustainable fashion brand with a focus on environmentally-friendly and ethical practices. All our clothes are made from natural fabrics like Tencel, lyocell, modal and recycled cotton. We also purchase over-ordered fabric from other warehouses to be reused.
Shop our collection of classic and eco-friendly designs over at https://littlematchgirl.com.sg/products/new-in