What Is Tencel? Here's Why We Use This Sustainable New Fabric
At tentree, our primary goal is to plant 10 trees for every item purchased in our store. But that isn't where our commitment to the environment stops. As a company, we are always seeking out better, more sustainable fabrics with which to make our apparel and accessories.
TENCEL is the brand name for a sustainable grown and mindfully harvested lycocell fiber. Generally, lycocell is a type of rayon made from the cellulose fiber of dissolved wood pulp. Lycocell fibers can be used in pretty much any type of clothing, from denim to tees and even silky underwear.
TENCEL is an extremely eco-friendly lycocell produced by Lenzing Fibers, headquartered in Austria. Compared to cotton in particular, TENCEL has a significantly smaller environmental impact, requiring much 10 to 20 times less water and no pesticides whatsoever.
TENCEL is grown in what is called a closed-group system, whereby all inputs and outputs are closely measured and monitored to ensure minimal ecological footprint. Chemicals, water, solvents, etc. are all carefully selected and/or treated so there is no harm to the environment. This is why we choose to use TENCEL specifically, as opposed to a cheapter form of lycocell.
Our major concern about TENCEL was in the fact that trees had to be cut down in order to make it. Lenzing does not harvest the trees from forests, but instead sustainably farms and grows the trees themselves. For every tree cut down, more trees are planted to replace it. This takes the burden off of forests entirely.
So why pick TENCEL in the first place? Why not another eco-friendly resource like organic cotton or bamboo? Even in the case of organic cotton, cotton requires a ton of space to grow, is an enormous resource burden on the soil, and uses an incredible amount of water.
Bamboo is great for some things, but bamboo garments can't be made without at least 27% of the garment being made from organic cotton. TENCEL, on the other hand, can comprise over 90% of a garment's composition.
In addition to the enviornmentally positive aspects of TENCEL, it's a superior fabric in terms of wearability and use too. TENCEL is hypoallergenic, odor-resistant, itch-free, and incredibly soft too. If you have sensitive skin or allergies, it's an excellent option for you.