This new fibre represents a key milestone in the transition initiated by the fashion industry towards a circular economy.
Every year, 20 million tons of cotton textiles and 6.5 million tons of viscose textiles are consumed worldwide. They end up being converted into garments, bedding and personal care items, such as hygiene wipes. As a solution to that waste, the company Tangshan Sanyou has developed a viscose staple fibre made of 50 per cent FSC-certified wood pulp and 50 per cent post-consumer recycled cotton textiles.
Canopy – an international environmental not-for-profit organization dedicated to protecting the world’s forests – audited the FSC-certified wood pulp. The NGO started the CanopyStyle initiative in 2014 with clothing retailers and brands. The aim was to eliminate the use of ancient and endangered forests in their supply chains by exploring innovative fibres. Canopy’s founder and executive director, Nicole Rycroft, congratulated Tangshan Sanyou and its partner re:newcell for this new fiber as “The introduction of a new viscose fabric made from 50% recycled textiles represents an important leap forward for the global textile and fashion industries.”
re:newcell, a Swedish company, supplies the recycled cotton to Tangshan Sanyou. Its CEO, Mattias Jonsson, commented: “This breakthrough proves that we don’t need to harvest virgin forests, cotton fields or oil wells to make high quality fashion materials at a big scale. Together, Tangshan Sanyou and re:newcell have delivered what the fashion industry needs to make a transition to sustainability – a climate positive, low-impact and truly circular raw material.”
Mattias Jonsson pledged that re:newcell and Tangshan Sanyou would now use this innovative technology to bring thousands of tons of recycled materials to the market.