Lenzing fibers – sustainable products

Ease of wear, superior moisture management and physiological parameters: these properties of Lenzing fibers make them particularly suited to very special applications. They can be traced back to their raw material – wood. Lenzing fibers always had the advantage of their natural origin, and the market has become very responsive to these properties and topics.

CO2 - neutral raw material: wood Wood, the renewable raw material of Lenzing fibers, is a product of photosynthesis, the single most important biochemical process on our planet. Photosynthesis is the creation (synthesis) of organic matter with the help of solar energy. In this process the plant gives off oxygen. The absorbed carbon dioxide is released only at decomposition or combustion. The CO2 balance is therefore neutral.

Lenzing produces botanic fibers and takes the lead

Ever more critical consumers take adequate product quality for granted. Environmental soundness and impact on global warming, however, are becoming more and more important in making purchasing decisions. Environmental awareness and ethical considerations are becoming the new criteria of distinction for eco-conscious customers. International retail chains, such as British TESCO or IKEA of Sweden, are beginning to disclose the size of their products’ carbon footprints on labels. In the fiber market, the trend towards ecologically superior products is gaining more and more importance: fibers, just like food, after all are products of great physical intimacy.

Product ranges and collections whose materials are labeled “organic” or “bio” have become a common feature of the textile industry. The natural origin of cellulose fibers by Lenzing makes them botanic fibers.

The new botanic concept highlights their natural origin and presents parallels to mechanisms of the plant world.

Emulating nature

Moisture management

Lenzing fibers embody botanic principles. The optimal moisture management of Lenzing fibers is based on the botanic principle of capillary activity. Plants transport water from the soil to their leaves through fine channels: Lenzing fibers use the same principle when removing body moisture, at the same time creating optimal temperature equalization and great ease of wear.

Conserving land and water resources

Lenzing fibers are ahead of natural fibers, such as cotton, in other ways as well. Comparing TENCEL® and cotton, the fiber yield per area is up to four times higher and total water consumption up to twenty times lower. The primary raw materials for Lenzing fibers are beech and eucalyptus. Neither of these need artificial irrigation and both can be cultivated on land unsuitable for food production.

Closing production cycles

The production process for TENCEL® (lyocell process) is characterized by a recovery rate of almost 100%. This process, an example of ecological soundness, received the environmental award of the European Union. It makes TENCEL® – apart from its excellent fiber characteristics – a future-oriented alternative and secures Lenzing’s competitive advantage. The production process for Lenzing Modal® is highly optimized. Seven decades of production experience – environmentally sound processes, production cycles that have been closed to the greatest possible extent and optimum use of the raw material beech wood – are unique in the industry and make this fiber a product of best practice. The extraction of valuable by-products further increases the utility of the valuable resource beech wood: cellulose fibers are complemented by acetic acid to food standard specifications, xylose for the production of caries-inhibiting sweetening agents and sodium sulfate for the production of glass.

Success with new applications

In the past, viscose fibers were almost exclusively used in ladies’ wear. Lenzing broke that dependence on fashion cycles by a dedicated strategy of focusing on specialties. The strategy is founded on clear innovative advantages in fiber technology and, increasingly, on innovative and dynamic marketing. Lenzing, together with its customers, focuses on the joint development of products, marketing concepts and sales through global merchandising organizations. The strategic milestones of this strategy were the extension of Lenzing’s product portfolio by innovative high-value specialty fibers (Lenzing Modal®, TENCEL® and Lenzing FR®) and the expansion of markets by conquering new segments (menswear, active sportswear, home textiles and technical textiles), and by going international. From being the technological innovation leader, Lenzing progressed to being the marketing innovation leader.