Did you hear about EcoVero™?
23rd January 2022, Anna H.
Today we bring you another part of the series on sustainable textile materials. And we are talking about EcoVero™ viscose.
Today, viscose is one of the most widely used textile material in the fashion industry. After polyester and cotton is has the theoretical bronze medal. And no wonder. Viscose was originally created as a synthetic imitation of silk, and therefore it copies some of its great properties. It is very pleasant to the touch, drapes beautifully and it is easy to work with. Viscose is a natural material in its base. It is made from wood pulp, which is crushed and melted using a chemical process (similar to polyester) and then transformed into a viscose fiber, from which the fabric itself is woven.
In the production of the conventional viscose there are several negative environmental impacts. First of all, the production is demanding on the consumption of wood, which is the primary raw material. And secondly, it consumes a lot of chemicals that cannot be reused, creating a large amount of often toxic waste that ends up in the nature.
The Austrian company Lenzing is an important expert not only in textiles, but also in the innovation of their processing aspects. They give us solutions for fashion industry problems for quite some time now. You may remember the material called Tencel™ or the Tencel technology - Refibra™, which we discussed in one of the previous articles. Tencel™, just like EcoVero™, is ecological viscose fiber.
And why is EcoVero™ a greener version of conventional viscose?
EcoVero™ fibers are obtained from certified renewable wood resources and processed using an environmentally responsible production process that meets high environmental standards. And therefore they are a more responsible choice with the respect to the environment.
1. EcoVero™ uses certified wood sources.
Canopy, a non-profit environmental organization, has consistently ranked Lenzing among the world's leading producers of sustainable viscose. The wood pulp used to produce EcoVero™ viscose comes exclusively from certified and renewable sources.
Lenzing follows strict environmental standards throughout the wood processing stages, while using only wood obtained from the immediate area. One of Lenzing's branches is, for example, the Czech factory in Paskov near Ostrava. The Czech Republic is also one of the four main locations that produce wood for Lenzing. There is a good chance that your dress from the EcoVero™ viscose material was grown and processed in the Czech Republic. And that's great news!
Not only the origin of wood, but also the extent of its use has a major impact on the environment. The wood in Lenzing is used completely. It is used not only to produce pulp, but also to produce green energy.
2. EcoVero™ consumes less water.
In the production of EcoVero™ viscose we use closed production cycles (for example for water). This consumes up to 50% less water than the conventional viscose. In addition, before the water returns to the nature, it is purified, which is rare for conventional materials.
3. Energy self-sufficient production
Today, the Czech Lenzing plant is almost completely self-sufficient in terms of electricity and heat consumption. Energy comes from biomass from the wood. Electricity that is not consumed during the production is further supplied to the distribution system.
Source : https://www.lenzing.com/
4. Closed chemical loops
Thanks to the modern technologies, wood and subsequent products are processed without the use of harmful chlorine, but with oxygen, hydrogen peroxide and ozone. The closed loops of these chemicals (where the chemicals are used repeatedly) are environmentally friendly and ensure the minimum fresh water requirements.
5. EcoVero™ viscose is compostable and biodegradable.
Last but not least, the EcoVero™ viscose is biodegradable and compostable. Lenzing says on its website that, for example, an EcoVero™ viscose T-shirt decomposes in as little as 3 months (for comparison, the decomposition time of polyester is 200 years!). EcoVero™ material decomposes in all tested environments (soil, industrial compost, home compost, fresh and sea water).
If you are a true fan of the sustainable textile materials the eco certificates will certainly be important to you. Lenzing has a number of such certificates and ISO standards. Today we will introduce you to two of them: PEFC ™ and FSC®.
PEFC ™stands for “Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification’. This certificate guarantees the extraction of wood from sustainable forest management. Under this program, forests are regularly inspected by independent entities in order to comply with strict sustainability criteria.
The second certificate is FSC®. The abbreviation FSC® means "Forest Stewardship Council. This certificate guarantees the purchase of wood raw material, which comes from sustainably managed forests.
And what to say in conclusion? Most importantly we need to realize that any material that we consume in reckless and unnecessarily large quantities will never be ecological or sustainable. Therefore, even great innovative materials such as Tencel™ or EcoVero™ are not self-saving.
Today, however, we have a huge advantage over the past, and that is the easy access to information. We have the opportunity to responsibly decide who and what practices we will support with our purchase.
In the end, we - the consumers - have the greatest power.