The Future of Viscose
We are supporting the development of the next generation of sustainable, recycled cellulose fibres. Instead of coming from trees, they are being made from materials such as used cotton garments and agricultural residues (what is left over after crops have been harvested).
We also have a long-running partnership with Evrnu, an American start-up that has developed a game-changing method of transforming cotton waste into cellulose. They have created of a new kind of engineered fibre called NuCycl™ made from liquefied cotton waste.
We believe that solutions like NuCycl™ are a crucial element in innovating the future of fashion, with the industry historically being reprehensible at recycling its own waste. Only 1% of textiles get a second life globally, leaving us with a staggering amount of unwanted material to deal with.
Pioneering conservation solutions
In 2014, we established a partnership with Canopy – an NGO that is developing solutions to protect the world’s ancient and endangered forests.
Canopy played a key role in helping us verify that our supply chain was truly free from ancient and endangered forests. Now, we are working together to advance visionary solutions that protect conservation areas in places like Indonesia and Canada.
In the run-up to our Winter 2019 show, we launched our #ThereSheGrows campaign – raising awareness about the deforestation of the Leuser Forest in Sumatra, Indonesia. This is the last place on Earth where elephants, tigers, orangutans and rhinos live side by side. We invited supporters to make a dedication to a loved one and, in return, we donated to Canopy to help them protect the Leuser Ecosystem and endangered forests around the world.
Measuring the impact of viscose
After realising that there was little data available about the environmental impacts of Man-Made Cellulose Fibres (MMCF) production, we commissioned our own study.
In 2017, we released the results of a new Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) – an internationally recognized scientific methodology comparing the environmental performance of 10 different raw material sources of MMCFs such as viscose.
This was the first time a comparative LCA had ever been commissioned to evaluate global sourcing scenarios for 10 MMCF supply chains. The study examined a broad range of environmental issues, from the time raw materials are obtained from forests, through to the production of viscose and other MMCFs.
The study helps ensure our products are free from fibres derived from ancient and endangered forests. More importantly, we hope it will serve as an informative and guiding tool for the industry. Our aim in conducting this research was to help bring attention to the impact that MMCF sourcing can have on the world’s forests, species and freshwater, as well as our global climate and human health.