How sustainable is

Lyocell / Tencel


Lyocell is made from the cellulose from different trees. The trees are cut down, chopped up to small wooden chips and then processed to become a dissolving pulp. This process uses high amounts of water and many chemicals that can not be reused. The dissolving pulp then gets processed into a Lyocell fiber by using even more water and chemicals. The Austrian company Lenzing offers another type of Lyocell called TENCEL™ Lyocell. The process of making TENCEL™ Lyocell can reuse most of the water and chemicals used in the process from dissolving pulp to fibre. TENCEL™ Lyocell is also made from forests with FSC or PEFC certifications. However, the impact of the first step in the process—from tree to dissolving pulp remains very wasteful and pollutive. And the environmental impact of cutting down forests in order to make clothing must also be considered, as it is difficult to trace the pulp to source.

bergstrand material GUIDE ranking*

Ensure that the lyocell is TENCEL™ Lyocell. Unbranded rayons can be made from wood pulp from unsustainable sources. Only TENCEL™ Lyocell is considered an approved fiber, not unbranded Lyocell with no traceability.


Approved materials may be less expensive than preferred materials, but may not be as ethical or sustainable in their production. While approved materials are not considered the best option, they may be used in clothing production as long as certain standards and guidelines are followed.
* The Bergstrand Material Guide Ranking is only a guide. Our consultants can help with accurate assessments of your brand’s use of materials.
Photography credit:
John Kinnander

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Lyocell / Tencel

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