Viscose is in many of our clothes, but there is another story to this fabric, and this relates both to the sourcing for the cellulose, and to the production of the viscose yarn fibre. In terms of sourcing, it is estimated that approximately 150 million trees are logged annually for fashion.
Viscose is a highly versatile material, it is prized for its cotton and silk like qualities and has a wide range of applications ranging from the fashion and beauty industries to home furnishings, packaging, car upholstery and tyres. A man-made fibre, it’s derived from cellulose dissolving pulp, with its raw materials including wood, cotton, and bamboo.
The viscose industry is highly concentrated in terms of ownership and operations, with three main producers responsible for the majority of sourcing and production. These fibres for fashion are sourced predominately from the Boreal forest of North America and the tropical forests of Indonesia. While the dissolving pulp and viscose fibre production taking place in Canada, India, Indonesia and China.
Join us and @ChangingMarkets to clean up fashion 🚿👔👚.
Together we've created a road-map 🗺️ to help create more sustainable #viscose. We are bringing leading industry players together to discuss this in London in May. FIND OUT MORE–>https://t.co/gAmuZUqs93 pic.twitter.com/5XydSRNJIN
— The Forest Trust (@TheForestTrust) April 18, 2018
In recent years dissolving pulp production has increased substantially – approximately 10% per year, meaning that viscose fibre production is expected to double between 2015 and 2020. This is not only a challenge at the forest level, but also at the dissolved pulp and viscose fibre production sites.
In 2017, Changing Markets Foundation released the ‘Dirty Fashion’ report, highlighting the social and environmental problems at the viscose fibre production level. Following on from this, the fashion industry were keen to understand how they might address the issue.
We subsequently worked with Changing Market to develop the Roadmap to Sustainable Viscose Production. The Roadmap is a tool for brands to bring about better practices in collaboration with viscose producers in an effort to close the loop on viscose production.
To date, five major fashion brands have signed up to the Roadmap. Building on the momentum of this and in the spirit of fostering collaboration and being part of the solution through innovation, we will be hosting an event in London with Changing Markets, this coming 30 May, about viscose.
We invite fashion brands, viscose producers and other industry stakeholders to contact us for more information. We can be reached on email via firstname.lastname@example.org