Member Spotlight

Looking back on 30 years of TENCEL™ Lyocell  

Lenzing first created TENCEL™ Lyocell in Mobile, Alabama, in 1992.Over the past three decades, the use of this fiber has expanded and varied according to its customers’ wants and needs. Today, it still forms the basis for all of the most popular varieties of TENCEL™ on the market. 

Join us to look back on the progress made over the last 30 years in our latest member’s interview, a space where companies in our global network share their stories to inspire and promote action. 

What are the main changes that have occurred in the production of TENCEL Lyocell since its original production 30 years ago? 

As we developed yarns, fabrics, and garments with our partners and understood the nuances of what TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers could do, we realized there were opportunities to evolve. In 1999, we launched a variant of TENCEL™ Lyocell for knits to expand options and ease of use, and over the years there have been other developments, like our blends with modal fibers, and matte TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers, all of which allowed for expansion into new market segments. 

What was the most challenging hurdle you overcame along the way? 

Launching a new fiber in the 1990’s came with several challenges. Today we use social media and the internet to connect and communicate, but when we first began producing TENCEL™ Lyocell we depended on print advertising, physical events, and phone calls.  It was a real grassroots effort to educate about a new fiber derived from wood. Teaching spinners, weavers, and garment makers how to work with a new fiber led to new learnings. Our approach was to “fail fast and move forward” as we mastered the challenges of fibrillation.  

Can you tell us some more about your collaborations?  Why do you feel that combining efforts is so important?  

Since 2018, TENCEL™ has redefined itself as a consumer-facing ingredient brand. This success is reflected in the collaboration between TENCEL™ and more than 300 brand partners globally in various consumer-centric campaigns like “Make it Feel Right” or “#CheckWhatsGood.” We see strong relationships with brand partners as a key part of our strategy to further encourage consumers to make informed fashion purchases.  

What plans do you have to celebrate 30 years of TENCEL? 

Since February we have been celebrating 30 years of TENCEL™ with our “Feel Good Fibers Since 1992” campaign, a space we created for sharing stories and perspectives on our journey over the last 30 years. It’s all about bringing our community together to celebrate three decades of combining fashion and nature through innovation. 

What is next in the TENCEL Lyocell journey?  

In this decade of action, we are looking at the impact we can have towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals with an emphasis on climate action, circularity, and collaboration. From our Carbon Zero TENCEL™ to our TENCEL™ x REFIBRA™ technology, we’ve spent the last years bringing solutions to the market. But we feel our responsibility to the planet and people goes far beyond only producing fiber.   

Within the next 30 years, we want to drive supply chain transparency within the industry, and work on our commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. We’ll also continue to focus on producing innovations like Carbon Zero TENCEL™ which help catalyze change in the fashion and textile industry.  

We are grateful to have worked alongside our partners and colleagues over the last 30 years and we look forward to even greater success in the next 30. 

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