Viscose is the most used manmade cellulosic fiber.

forest trees from below.

About

Smooth, absorbent, strong, and breathable, viscose is commonly used for a wide range of applications, from apparel to hygiene products. It’s the most important manmade cellulosic, having a market share of roughly 80% of all MMCFs and a production volume of around 5.8 million tonnes in 2021. Like other MMCFs, viscose is mostly derived from pulp from wood, but other raw materials in use or under development include bamboo and agricultural by-products, as well as post-consumer and industrial waste.

Challenges

Wood sourcing for viscose production poses risks.

The sourcing of wood for the production of viscose comes with environmental and social risks, including deforestation and forest exploitation. This has implications for biodiversity and the wellbeing of Indigenous Peoples, whose land, livelihoods, and traditions are bound up with the area. Plus, the chemicals used in the pulp and fiber production can threaten the health and safety of workers as well as the surrounding environment, due to emissions and the discharge of liquid waste. Concerns around forced or child labor and the mistreatment of workers have also been raised.

logging equipment and logs.
Solutions

We want to see a fashion and textile industry that’s forest-friendly.

We’re supporting the fashion and textiles industry in switching to fibers and materials that have better environmental and social outcomes than their conventional alternatives. We aim to protect and responsibly manage all forests, eliminate deforestation/support forestry conservation efforts, move away from harmful and hazardous chemicals used during the creation of MMCFs, and shift to renewable energy sources at MMCF production sites, all while considering the livelihoods of wellbeing of workers and surrounding communities.

trees and greenery in a forest.
Resources

Dive deeper into viscose production

MATERIALS PRODUCTION DASHBOARD

Get the latest data

You can access our latest data on production volume for viscose in our Materials Production Dashboard.

visose fabric.
plants in a greenhouse.
Supplier Spotlight

South African diversified wood fiber company Sappi is taking full accountability for the link between fashion and forestry. The company’s dissolving pulp products are used to create viscose fibers for clothing and textiles, as well as pharmaceutical products, packaging, and specialty papers. It sources its wood pulp either from its own sustainably managed forests and plantations, or from accredited suppliers around the world.

Find the answers to common questions about viscose.

If you have a question, get in touch with us directly, and we’ll be happy to answer it for you.

trees viewed from above.
Other MMCFs

Other Manmade Cellulosics

Lyocell and modal are popular manmade cellulosic fibers for fashion. Both lyocell and modal—two of the most common manmade cellulosics—make for soft and versatile fabrics.