We chose fabric derived from lyocell fiber for our denim jeans to maximize the comfort and sustainability of our products. Lyocell is a semi-synthetic fiber in that it is cellulose based like cotton but not found in nature. Today, lyocell is primarily made from trees (like Eucalyptus) by Lenzing under the brand Tencel. Their process is outlined below:
Essentially, cellulose is extracted from the wood and then dissolved in organic solvents to form a pulp. The lyocell fiber is then spun out of the pulp. This is more sustainable than cotton fiber for a few reasons:
- Trees require less water than cotton plants to grow and irrigate.
- Trees do not require the toxic pesticides used in cotton agriculture.
- 99% of Lenzing's wood comes from sustainable forestry.
- 99.5% of the organic solvent in the process above is recovered and reused through a closed loop system.
As our company grows and sells more jeans, we will supplement trees as the source material for cellulose with cotton waste from your jeans. We’ll utilize proprietary processes provided by our partners in Europe. Thus, we will quickly reach a point where we create 100% lyocell jeans made from 100% recycled material.
No matter the percent of cotton waste included, the resulting lyocell is superior to cotton in that it is naturally softer, more breathable, and has better moisture wicking. It is also more sustainable as it requires far less water to produce.
You can learn more about the lyocell production process and its benefits here.