The fashion industry is changing rapidly, and with that change comes the need to adopt more sustainable practices. One of the emerging trends in the fashion world is the use of innovative materials that reduce the industry's environmental footprint. Among these materials, Tencel stands out as an ecological and versatile option. In this article, we explore in depth this innovative material and its impact on sustainable fashion.
What is Tencel?
Tencel, also known as lyocell, is a fiber made from wood pulp. Specifically, it is obtained from eucalyptus, bamboo and other fast-growing trees. This manufacturing process is based on a closed-loop technology, in which the solvents used to transform the pulp into fiber are recycled in a loop, thus considerably reducing water consumption and chemical waste.
One of the most remarkable characteristics of Tencel is its durability. The production of this fiber requires up to 20 times less water than conventional cotton cultivation. In addition, the forests that are sources of raw materials are managed in a sustainable way, thus contributing to the preservation of ecosystems.
Advantages of Tencel in Fashion
Comfort and Performance
Tencel has natural properties that make it an ideal choice for clothing. It's soft to the touch and offers excellent breathability, making it perfect for all-season wear. In addition, its ability to absorb moisture makes it comfortable to wear, even in hot weather.
As a fiber produced from renewable raw materials and made with an eco-friendly process, Tencel has a much lower impact on the planet than other synthetic materials. A study found that the production of Tencel generates about 30% less greenhouse gas emissions compared to cotton. It's an attractive option for consumers concerned about the carbon footprint of their clothing choices.
Tencel can be used to create a variety of styles, from casual wear to more elegant outfits. It can be dyed easily and retains color well, providing fashion designers with a canvas adaptable to their visions.
Chemical Composition and Structure of Tencel
From a more technical point of view, Tencel is composed of cellulose fibrils which are arranged in an orderly fashion. The fibril structure gives the material its characteristic softness and strength. The process of making Tencel involves dissolving wood pulp in a non-toxic solvent, followed by extruding the solution through tiny orifices to form fibers. These fibers are then processed to form Tencel fiber.
Ecological Manufacturing Process
The manufacturing process of Tencel is distinguished by its environmentally friendly nature. The solvents used, such as the amine oxide, are more than 99% recycled, which considerably reduces chemical waste. In addition, water consumption in the production of Tencel is significantly lower than many other textile fibers, with an estimated water use of only 5 m3 per tonne of fiber produced.
The Future of Sustainable Fashion with Tencel
As the fashion industry continues to explore more eco-friendly alternatives, Tencel is emerging as a leader in this transition. Its innovative manufacturing process, advanced chemical composition and eco-friendly benefits make it an attractive option for brands looking to reduce their impact on the planet.
In conclusion, Tencel is emerging as an innovative material that offers a sustainable approach to fashion. Its environmentally friendly production, combined with its exceptional properties, make it a winning option for fashion designers and ethically conscious consumers. By embracing Tencel, the fashion industry can not only follow trends, but also shape a greener and more sustainable future.