: Viscose - the silky one that isn't silk 💃
Viscose, known as rayon in the US, is sometimes referred to as a sustainable alternative to cotton and polyester - I'll be busting that myth 🚫
How is viscose made? What's the issue?
🌳 Viscose is made from fast-growing regenerative trees/plants like bamboo and eucalyptus, or ancient trees from endangered forests. The fast-growing ones sound like the cute option, but ancient forests are often cleared to make space for plantations. This not only destroys essential eco systems, but often results in human rights abuses and land grabbing from indigenous communities.
🧵 The wood is then shredded and added to a vat of nasty chemicals, creating a pulpy substance which can be spun into yarn. This is a highly polluting process, releasing toxic chemicals into the air and waterways, affecting the health of textile workers and people who live near the production plants.
That does not sound like a story that I want to wear (although ironically, I currently am) 🤦♀️
So, how can we help prevent more endangered forests disappearing into our clothes?
⚡ As usual, love the viscose you have and make it last. The most sustainable (& cheapest) wardrobe is the one you already own ❤
⚡ If you do need something new, buy from brands who have made strong commitments to the sustainable sourcing of wood and clean viscose production. To be sure, look out for the names Tencel, EcoVero or Monocel on the garment's label.
⚡ Message a brand you love and ask them what they're doing to ensure that the viscose they buy doesn't cause harm.