As the fashion industry heads towards a future where textile resources are scarce, natural fibers such as cotton, which remains a resource-intensive material, and petroleum-based fibers like acrylic, polyester, nylon, and spandex remain high in demand. But as the production of these fibers continues to cause irreversible damage to our environment, more and more companies are seeking out an alternative, sustainable fibers, and fabrics. In this series, FashionUnited explores the future possibilities offered by sustainable innovations in the textile and fashion industry. In this installment, FashionUnited examines the new, more responsible option to viscose – EcoVero.
Viscose, which is also known as rayon, has been used to make soft, silky fabrics, luxurious feeling fabrics. Made from purified cellulose, it is produced from specially processed wood pulp and is often compared to silk and cotton. However although the fabric made from this fiber may be beautiful, viscose remains a semi-synthetic, chemical fiber. Often the timber used to for the wooden pulp stems from irrigation-intensive monocultures, which negatively impact the earth. Large amounts of highly toxic chemicals, such as carbon disulfide are used during the production of viscose, which has led to a number of worker poisonings. In addition, shipping the cellulose-based fiber around the globe also increases the level of Co2 emissions, making it a harmful fiber.