Lenzing leaves Chinese viscose collaboration

brett mathews | 8th March 2019

EXCLUSIVE – Leading speciality fibre maker, Lenzing Nanjing Fibers (LNF) has decided to leave the Chinese Collaboration for Sustainable Development of Viscose (CV). The business, part of the Austrian Lenzing Group, told Apparel Insider it now wishes to “pursue its own sustainability agenda.” This will involve striving towards the EU BAT (Best Available Technologies) standard, a pathway to closed-loop viscose manufacturing which NGO Changing Markets claims is currently the most ambitious guidelines for cleaner viscose manufacturing. Many leading apparel brands are said to favour this standard.

The Chinese viscose initiative originally encompassed ten viscose producers in China joining forces to make the industry more sustainable. However, despite launching with much fanfare last yes, a rcent report claimed Chinese viscose factories which have signed up to a high-profile industry sustainability initiative are continuing to violate government regulations. The Changing Markets Foundation argued there are significant gaps in the Collaboration for Sustainable Development of Viscose.

Dirty Fashion: Spotlight on China suggested the initiative was, “short on ambition and will not meet NGO requirements on responsible viscose, which have been endorsed by leading fashion brands.”

Added a spokesperson from Lenzing: “As a sustainability leader in the industry, the Lenzing Group will now pursue its own path in collaborating with the entire value chain to green up the industry and thus expand the company’s position. This cooperation will involve forest owners, spinners, weavers and knitters, fabric makers as well as brands and retailers selling products made from wood-based fibres.”