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TENCEL™ insights
17 / 02 / 2023
Lenzing paves the way for transparency and sustainability in the textiles industry through ongoing innovation
TENCEL™ insights
17 / 02 / 2023
Lenzing paves the way for transparency and sustainability in the textiles industry through ongoing innovation

The rising trend among consumers to understand more about the quality, environmental impact, and origin of the products they are purchasing has been pushing the textile industry to improve transparency along every step of the supply chain. Consumer brands, retailers, garment makers and other industry players are now realizing that a transparent overview not only helps combat greenwashing, but also establishes a strong trust that is fundamental to building reliable sustainability credentials.

Over the years, Lenzing has been actively innovating and introducing new offerings that support the need for improved transparency and sustainability within the textile industry. Florian Heubrandner, Vice President of Global Textiles Business, examines the increased demand for transparency from both consumers and industry players alike, and shares some of Lenzing’s latest initiatives to address these growing requirements.

Q1: What does transparency for the textile sector mean and why is it integral to achieving sustainability in the industry?

Florian: Over the last decade, we have witnessed a fundamental shift in perception towards transparency among consumers and industry partners. Due to the negative impact of climate change and increased awareness around environmental protection, the topic of transparency has evolved from a business-to-business discussion to a hot topic of interest for consumers.

With the growing demand for sustainability-driven innovations, Lenzing, through the TENCEL™ brand, has created a series of high-value and trusted offerings, such as TENCEL™ branded lyocell and modal fibers which use innovative technology to enhance traceability and transparency features and become identifiable in finished textile products.

In today’s demanding market, it is increasingly important to protect the validity of the sustainability claims made by Lenzing’s co-branding partners and industry partners who are working tirelessly to uphold transparency and maintain the trust of their customers. The recent shift in focus from European regulatory entities also signals an increase in demand from customers, creating a greater need for verifiable credentials that are trustworthy when it comes to sustainability.

Q2: What have been the challenges when building transparency into the textile supply chain? What are some of Lenzing’s ways of addressing these challenges?

Florian: One of the main challenges faced by companies is the complicated nature of the supply chains. These chains cover different regions and countries, forming a global network that needs to abide by different rules, regulations, cultures, processes, and systems in the many regions or countries they operate in.

In order to address this, Lenzing follows a “share-prove-partner-track” approach for a more sustainable and transparent supply chain. The combination of our openness to share information and credentials, ability to authenticate our fibers, partnerships along the supply chain, downstream value chain track and traceability via blockchain ensure a high level of transparency.

In addition, by embracing digital solutions and forging close digital connections across our network, we have gained a deeper understanding of the players in our supply chain and the end customers. Our ongoing collaboration with the supply chain enables end-to-end planning, agility, and responsiveness all guided by the goal of reducing environmental impact.

Q3: Tell us more about Lenzing’s Fiber Identification Technology and E-Branding Services. How do these offerings help brands and manufacturers support their sustainability claims?

Florian: To drive systemic change in the industry, we have been implementing innovative solutions to enable our customers and supply chain partners to improve their environmental performance and achieve sustainability targets with trust and transparency.

These practices and solutions include the Fiber Verification Service, enabled by our Fiber Identification technology which can identify fibers in the final products. This provides quality control and authenticity assurance for brands against inferior counterfeit materials. Products verified by the service also provide consumers with an added level of assurance and peace of mind that materials are certified and made of genuine premium eco-friendly fibers that are produced in facilities that meet high environmental standards.

Furthermore, the E-Branding Service platform offers brands a one-stop solution hub to partner with Lenzing and market their sustainably produced products through product licenses, swing tags, and other branding materials, allowing consumers to easily verify that a product has been made with high-quality TENCEL™ fibers that stand for true transparency and sustainability, all through the value chain until final garment.

In an industry susceptible to greenwashing, brands and retailers can leverage Lenzing’s technological innovations to provide confidence and assurance that their products are produced using materials from sustainable sources using responsible production processes.

Q4: What can we expect from Lenzing in 2023 to further support the industry’s path towards true transparency?

Florian: Even though we started our digital transformation journey several years ago, we remain committed to providing more innovative solutions and offerings. In 2023, we will continue to drive transparency across the textile value chain through our innovations, from sourcing to final products.

We will also continue to work closely with our value chain partners to accelerate progress in transparency and sustainability. This is also one of the reasons why Lenzing partners with Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and Textile Exchange (TE) and participate in their programs. Our goal is to provide consumers with credible product information, evidenced through data.

Please stay tuned for our upcoming announcements on textile material traceability on the final product level, as well as exciting new services for TENCEL™ co-branding partners.

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