Lenzing has just developed a new Tencel fiber made from combining recycled cotton fabric waste and Tencel fiber produced according to a closed-loop technology, Lenzing’s most sustainable technology fiber production.
Lenzing is the first manufacturer worldwide to offer such cellulose fiber incorporating recycled materials on a commercial scale while offering one of the most ecological wood-based fibers on the planet. “For Lenzing, developing circular business models in the fashion industry ensures the decoupling of business growth from pressure on ecological resource consumption,” commented Robert van de Kerkhof, CCO of Lenzing. “It reduces the need to extract additional virgin resources from nature, and reduces the net impact on ecological resources.”
This new Tencel fiber will be sold differently than usual. It will not be sold directly to yarn or fabric manufacturers. It will rather be exclusively offered to leading retailers and brands that in turn could produce their garment collections in the most sustainable way by engaging the right value chain partners. This ensures close co-operation and transparency in the entire textile value chain.
Currently, the fiber is being tested with selected brand manufacturers and retailers and is at the point of being introduced to the market. “Close cooperation with the sustainability leaders in the retail business gives us the chance to find common solutions to overcome sustainability related challenges in the fashion industry and effectively implement circular economy concepts,” van de Kerkhof explains. “The next generation Tencel fiber is revolutionizing the fiber industry and has the potential to significantly change consumers' behavior,” van de Kerkhof continues.
A new agreement between Lenzing and Inditex Group connected to the launch of this new fiber was also recently announced. The Spanish retail giant has signed a deal with Lenzing. Zara will provide an initial 500 tons of textile waste - with the aim to raise up to 3,000 tons within a few years - from its operations in order to “support the development of textile recycling technology for the creation of new raw materials.” Inditex will install up to 2,000 garment collection containers in Spain’s main cities and said it will also implement a free-at-home collection service for used clothing when delivering online Zara orders.
Inditex explained that these new moves will “further build on the circular economy model in all phases of the product cycle,” as a part of their own 2016-2020 Environmental Strategy Plan and are being seen as a genuine attempt to improve its sourcing practices and the life-cycle environmental impact of its clothing.