Tencel and Recycled Wool
Tencel and recycled materials are snagging the spotlight in 2021. According to the Allied Market Research report in 2020, the recycled textiles market is slated to reach $8 billion by 2026, up 5.2%. As technology advances, the fashion industry will continue adapting to embrace the abundance of recycling opportunities. Kicking off this week's conversation, we are thrilled to feature what we know about Tencel. So, let's talk Tencel.
Picture the 1980’s in the UK, the birth era of Tencel. Tencel has become increasingly popular for manufacturers and retailers in recent years. There are many reasons for this. The material consists of a group of fibers, including lyocell and modal. On most occasions, Tencel is less resource intensive, and in turn is less wasteful than some of the other fibers on the market today. How is this so? Assuming that non toxic materials are used during production, fibers that make up Tencel can be recycled, further minimizing discards in waste streams and causing less direct impact on the environment. But is it natural? Derived from trees, it's technically not synthetic, but does undergo a conventional manufacturing process. Soft in texture, Tencel is also incredibly dynamic! Tencel is great in its strength and capable of holding color from dying processes. Its versatility offers Tencel the chance to collaborate with other more common fibers, like cotton or polyester. Its claim to fame is its durability and capability to last a long time. Some of our favorites here at AT contain Tencel check out the link below to explore our selection.
One thing to note is this material is occasionally compared to rayon for instance, however, not to be mistaken by the environmentally straining process and harmful chemicals rayon production requires.
Lets dive into recycled wool.
Wool dates back centuries, and is known for its functionally and capability to keep one warm with seasonal changes. Because new wool production is resource intensive, companies are adopting recycling practices to reduce water consumption, necessary land, and waste to landfill. Wool has the capacity to be recycled for many years to follow, and it is naturally quite durable. By recycling wool, manufactures close the loops during reproduction processes by breaking the material down to yan, to be reused again (typical in knits). Opening up the loop system, wool has a place in industrial textiles, and can be used efficiently in mattresses.
Our highly respected activewear partner, Prana, encourages recycled wool by repurchasing such material and repurposing it into new clothing, without redying each piece. Other brands who emphasize the importance of sustainable fashion practices, like Patagonia, incorporate recycled wool into their fleece outerwear. Actually, according to Patagonia, by adopting practices which support recycled wool, 81% of emissions are reduced in total. That is quite the difference from producing virgin wool. As companies transform business models to prioritize overall sustainability, more brands will align with ethical methodologies that better serve the planet and our people. We have had so much fun this month highlighting only some of the more conscious materials in fashion today and hope it offers value for the future of your purchases!