If you have rayon, lyocell / TENCEL®, Modal® and Viscose® in your clothing, you are wearing fabrics that have been spun out of cellulose from trees. Converting wood into dissolving pulp from which soft fibers is associated with toxic chemicals (e.g. sodium hydroxide, sulfuric acid), the use of massive amounts of water, land grabbing and human right abuses.
Add to that the destruction of forests: 70,000,000 – 100,000,000 trees are logged annually for fabrics – approximately one-third of which are from ancient and endangered forests .
“Pristine natural forests are being destroyed for monocrop plantations that are being made into fabric, impacting communities that have depended on those forests for generations,” RAN’s Brihannala Morgan told mongabay.com. “It’s destroying their livelihoods, polluting their rivers, poisoning their land. And all in the name of cheap clothing, which is something we need to take responsibility for.” (From: http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0923-gfrn-gaworecki-dissolving-pulp.html#okyzvteevaXq3bYk.99)
In response to the growth in the dissolving pulp market, campaigns for forest friendly clothing have been launched in the last 2 years, the Fashion Loved by Forest initiative (by Canopy) and very recently, the Out of Fashion campaign (by the Rainforest Action Network). Check out these campaigns to find out which companies are being socially and environmentally responsible and what else you can do.
1. The Canopy report is available here.