What is Lenzing Ecovero - And Why I Use It as a Sustainable and Ethical Fashion Designer
ECOVERO™ A Fiber Profile
In essence, EcoVero is viscose.
While Lenzing EcoVero has been touted as one of the most eco friendly fibers on the market, it is fair if you are still on the fence. The word “viscose” in itself doesn’t exactly scream sustainability, and these days every company is quick to claim "sustainability", regardless of what is actually going on behind the scenes. So when it comes to EcoVero, does it live up to the hype? Or is Lenzing greenwashing, just like the rest of them? Let's find out!
What is viscose, and is it actually sustainable?
Viscose is a semi-synthetic fiber made from wood pulp. Its properties are similar to that of silk, so it is often used as a less expensive and vegan friendly substitute. However, not all viscose is created with the same level of care, and I wouldn’t go around blindly buying any textile or garment with the vague word written across its label. In most instances, viscose is in fact very unsustainable. Like many things, the sustainability of viscose fibers lies in the details of how it was produced.
Viscose, Deforestation, and Toxic Chemicals
As a fiber derived from wood pulp, it is no surprise that the more negligent methods of viscose production (of which are the majority) contribute majorly to large scale deforestation. To rub salt in the planetary wound, the chemicals used in viscose production are horrendous. This recipe includes carbon disulphide (CS2), a volatile chemical solvent used also in pesticides. CS2 is highly toxic, and acute exposure has been known to cause psychosis, decreased sperm count, and dementia, just to name a few.
So, Is Ecovero Better Than Normal Viscose?
In short, yes, it is! The so called “The new standard in eco-responsible viscose" is produced not just from any old trees, but from certified and top ranking sustainably managed forests. While yes, many of the same harmful chemicals are used in production, in the case of Ecovero, the vast majority are recovered to be reused.
Lenzing™ is certified with EU Ecolabel, are consistently top ranked by Canopy (a non-profit environmental protection agency) and have supply chain transparency.
EcoVeo and Its Effects On Water Quality
Compared to nasty generic viscose, EcoVero has a 50% lower water impact. In addition to this impressive statistic, the water they do use is cleaned and returned to nature.
EcoVero and Its Effects on Air Quality
Compared to your run of the mill unregulated viscose textile, EcoVero™ produces up to 50% lower CO2 emissions into the air.
How Does EcoVero Fabric Feel?
As a designer who puts a huge emphasis on comfort, the discovery of Lenzing fibers has been a game changer. The textiles that I have worked with which have been woven from EcoVero feel absolutely luxurious on my sensitive skin, and while this does have much to do which the mill that produced said fabric, the fiber itself obviously plays a huge factor. These textiles have been soft with a tough of sheen, a delicately brushed hand, and thus far have proven to be durable. They hold both natural dyes and reactive ink prints well, and paper visibly just as opulent as they are to the touch. The only real downside to note so far is a low wrinkle resistance, but this is pretty standard for a natural fiber, and the wrinkles smooth out easily in my experience.
My search for textiles that measured up to my high standards was neither easy, nor brief. It was, in actuality, the biggest and most strenuous hurdle I faced in starting my fashion company. My plans were put on hold for years, as fabric after fabric failed the tests they were put to. I needed sustainable, I needed ethical, I needed luxurious, and I needed so buttery soft that when I’d slip it on, I’d nearly forget that I was wearing clothes at all. I wanted fabric that didn’t compromise, and Lenzing™ delivered.