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How Is Tencel Sustainable?

Updated: Feb 10

TENCEL™ is a branded lyocell and modal fibre derived from sustainably sourced wood pulp, usually from eucalyptus trees. It is known for being environmentally friendly, as the production process uses a closed-loop system where solvents are recycled. Tencel fabrics are prized for their softness, breathability, and moisture-wicking properties, making them a popular choice in the fashion and textile industry. They are not only gentle on the skin but also on the planet.


Stripe & Stare Tencel lingerie
TENCEL™ Intimates from Stripe & Stare, "The World's Comfiest"

How Is Tencel Sustainable?

Tencel is considered sustainable for a few reasons. Firstly, it's sourced from renewable raw materials—often eucalyptus trees—that can be grown on land unsuitable for food production. As previously mentioned, the production process uses a closed-loop system, meaning the solvents and chemicals used are recycled, reducing environmental impact.

Additionally, Tencel has a lower environmental footprint compared to some other fabrics. The closed-loop production reduces water usage, and the processing is done in a way that minimises waste. The end product is biodegradable, further contributing to its eco-friendly profile.


Things To Consider Before You Buy

Although Tencel is commonly sourced from eucalyptus trees, the extensive use of large-scale eucalyptus monoculture plantations for Tencel production raises valid concerns about the health of ecosystems. Monoculture can have environmental implications such as soil degradation and increased vulnerability to pests. Moreover, these plantations may not consistently adhere to sustainable cultivation practices (be sure to check for FSC or PEFC labelling before making a purchase).

Furthermore, despite its closed-loop efficiency, the Tencel production process is not without its drawbacks. It involves the use of chemicals and is undeniably energy-intensive. These aspects merit careful consideration when evaluating the overall sustainability of Tencel as a choice. I certainly hope, manufacturers will address these concerns by turning to locally and sustainably produced wood pulp and by using renewable energy to power their manufacturing facilities.


How To Care For Your Tencel Garments?

Caring for Tencel is pretty straightforward, and it's one of the perks of this fabric. Here are some tips:

  1. Gentle Washing: machine wash on a gentle or delicate cycle using cold water. This helps to preserve the fabric and its colour.

  2. Mild Detergent: use a mild detergent to protect the fibres. Harsh chemicals can damage the fabric over time.

  3. Avoid Bleach: steer clear of chlorine bleach, as it can weaken the fibres and affect the colour.

  4. Low Heat Drying: Tencel can be tumble-dried on a low heat setting. However, for the best results and to prolong the life of your Tencel garments, air-drying is ideal.

  5. Ironing: if needed, iron on a low heat setting. Tencel has a natural resistance to wrinkles, so you might find that it needs less ironing than some other fabrics.

  6. Storage: store your Tencel garments in a cool, dry place. Hanging them or folding them neatly will help maintain their shape.


By following these care tips, you'll keep your Tencel pieces looking fresh and fabulous for a long time! Have you got a favorite Tencel item in your wardrobe?

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