please select your preferred language
Globally, the textile supply chain has been plagued by shipment delays and disruptions caused by the pandemic. As cotton prices continue to fluctuate drastically, retailers and manufactures are increasingly looking for quality alternatives with more price stability. With the added factor of possible supply issues caused by catastrophic floods in Pakistan that damaged 35% of the country’s cotton crop, the need for an alternative is imminent.
To find out more about this trend, we sit down with Jayaraman Sethuraman, Senior Commercial Director for AMEA & NEA textile business, to learn more about the opportunity around using fully sustainable eco-viscose as eco-responsible alternatives in the industry.
1. What is causing the price fluctuations in cotton and how can Lenzing address it?
The price of cotton, one of the key cellulose fibers used in the market, has been fluctuating in recent times due to a lack of acreage, yield, climate change, low opening stock, and increased production cost caused by a rise in energy price and shipping costs. Consumer inflation in major economies is also at multi-year highs, causing market uncertainty and impacting consumer buying behavior.
These difficulties lead to the need for identifying alterative materials within the supply chain. While some supply chain players would opt for synthetic fibers due to price sensitivity, consumers are conscious that some synthetic fibers are unsustainable and cannot do it all. Hence, sustainable cellulose fiber options such as wood-based fibers are often considered as a blended material or even alternative to cotton in some cases.
Among the viscose fibers in the market, LENZING™ ECOVERO™ brand provides a sustainable eco-viscose choice and is consistently ranked among the top global viscose producers in the world for our certified sustainable wood and pulp sourcing practices, as well as eco-responsible production process with lower water impact and carbon emissions.
2. What is the outlook for the cellulose fibers market and what are the driving forces?
The outlook for the wood-based cellulosic fiber sector is strong, it is expected to reach US$5,772.7 million by 2032. The predicted growth rate for viscose fibers is 3-5%, which is attributed to the fibers’ versatile properties, increased sustainability, and greater supply security. At Lenzing, the share of specialty fibers, which can be used in textile and nonwoven applications, in our fiber revenue is set to exceed the 75% target by a significant margin as early as 2023.
This rising demand for cellulose fibers is due to the growing preference for comfort and sustainability in textile products, especially clothing. This is also coupled with worries around the negative environmental impact caused by synthetic materials, as well as the instability of price and supply of cotton.
3. What are the pros and cons of cellulose fibers when compared with synthetic fibers? And how does LENZING™ ECOVERO™ take it further?
In general, cellulosic fibers are known to be more breathable than synthetic fibers, bringing more comfort to users. The main benefit and point of pride for manufacturers using LENZING™ ECOVERO™ branded specialty viscose fibers is that the fibers are derived from sustainable wood pulp, which come from certified and controlled sources following the stringent guidelines of the Lenzing Wood and Pulp Policy.
Another main benefit for manufacturers is that LENZING™ ECOVERO™ fibers have been certified with the EU Ecolabel for textile products, a label of environmental excellence which is awarded to products and services meeting high environmental standards, from raw material extraction, to production, distribution and disposal. Additionally, Lenzing’s special manufacturing system enables LENZING™ ECOVERO™ branded viscose fibers to be robustly identified in the final product, even after long textile processing and conversion steps through the value chain. Environmentally conscious consumers can be assured that retailers and brands are incorporating genuine LENZING™ ECOVERO™ eco-responsible viscose in their products.
Moreover, fabrics containing LENZING™ ECOVERO™ fibers can be certified at our in-house certification centers in Europe and Asia via Lenzing E-Branding Service platform. They will also be able to enjoy the convenience of one-stop access to Lenzing’s digitalized E-Branding Service platform for value chain management, from fiber verification to product licensing and free marketing materials.
4. What’s next for LENZING™ ECOVERO™?
One of the biggest updates is our production in Indonesia, where we will transition to using electricity generated solely from renewable sources. This will reduce the site’s specific carbon emissions by 75,000 tons annually and, together with our existing production sites in Austria and China, it will increase the production volume of LENZING™ ECOVERO™ branded viscose fibers to cater to the growth in demand.