Old favourites go by many names. And when it comes to fabrics, there are many brands and technical names. One such category of fabrics getting plenty of attention at the moment is viscose. Although it has been called the fabric of the future, there are also concerns about it being hazardous to both health and the environment. So what gives?
Rayon was registered as a brand in 1924 in USA. It is the name of a fabric intended as an alternative to silk, first in hosiery and later on in entire garments. In Sweden, the name of the fabric translated to faux silk, but the correct technical name is viscose.
In the production of ordinary viscose, wood chips are used, typically from spruce trees, which are then dissolved using chemicals. From the viscose pulp, textile fibres are extracted through a nozzle.
The main issue with this technology has to do with one of the substances used in ordinary production, carbon sulphide, which is hazardous to the environment and factory workers. As a fashion company, we are very excited about advances with this technology that have been made over the last few years and which are still going on today, with alternatives that are much more environmentally friendly.
Gina Tricot has decided to, over time, phase out ordinary viscose and, to the greatest extent possible, only use viscose from the Austrian company, Lenzing. Lenzing Viscose® is also manufactured from wood chips, but they comes from trees which, to the greatest extent possible, have been grown in forests with sustainability certification. That’s how we know that there is a lower environmental impact than traditional forestry operations and that the manufacturing process is more environmentally friendly.