1MW Guide to Sustainable Fabrics - Lyocell/Tencel

We know it can be difficult to understand exactly what sustainable fashion means, and the material your clothing is made from plays a BIG role in its environmental impact! The Susta-Style 1MW Guide to Sustainable Fabrics series will look at the most sustainable materials in use today, and also the fabric innovations that lie ahead for the future.

Lyocell/Tencel is our sustainable fabric this week.


Tencel is a branded name of Lyocell, a sustainable fibre regenerated from wood cellulose. It is obtained from eucalyptus trees that are grown on farms—no old growth forests, genetic manipulation, irrigation, nor pesticides are used. The production process uses a nontoxic, organic solvent to dissolve the cellulose of which 98% is typically recovered, making it a closed loop type of production with little waste product. It is often blended with natural fabrics such as hemp, cotton and wool.

  • It feels similar to rayon and bamboo, both regenerated fabrics, and has a more transparent production and supply chain.
  • The forests and the pulp produced for Tencel have earned certification that the products come from socially and environmentally responsible forests and have the European Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification has also endorsed Tencel's farming practices as sustainable.

What to watch out for:

There is little waste product in the production-process of Tencel, so it is considered a generally sustainable fabric. However the process does use a substantial amount of energy, which is the case with most fabric production. The other aforementioned benefits of this material make it a more sustainable choice when looking to buy clothing or other fabric items.

See more posts from our 1MW Guide to Sustainable Fabrics

Want even more information on sustainable style? Check out our series The Susta-Style Journey

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