Lyocell technology is the latest innovation in manmade cellulosics
Manmade cellulosics industry is expected to grow faster than the total fibre industry till 2020. This industry engulfs various technological innovations, and is expected to expand immensely in the years to come. Stefan Doboczky, CEO of Lenzing, a global leader in the production of manmade cellulose fibres, talks about the industry with its pros and cons in an interview with Fibre2Fashion.com
What is the size of the global manmade cellulose fibres industry? What is the percentage pie claimed by Lenzing?
The world’s fibre demand is of 94 million tonnes per year. The manmade cellulosics industry covers an attractive 5 per cent of this niche. Manmade cellulosics industry is expected to grow by 5-6 per cent per annum until 2020, as compared to the 3-4 per cent growth of the total fibre market. We actually see installed production capacities of 5.5 million tonnes per annum. The Lenzing share is about 1 million tonnes or 18 per cent of this figure.
What are the latest technological innovations in this industry? How has it improved productivity, cost-efficiency, performance and sustainability?
That would definitely be the Lyocell technology. This technology was the first step change since the invention of the viscose technology 100 years ago, and the introduction of high-wet modulus fibres in the 1950s. Lyocell fibres offer outstanding functionalities like optimal moisture absorption or silky touch. They reduce the formation of bacteria, and have exceptional blending characteristics with other fibres. The Lyocell technology meets the fast-growing demand for sustainable fibres. Our customers ask for environment-friendly products since end-consumers have significantly increased their eco-awareness in the last years. In terms of environmental impact, the Lyocell technology that Lenzing uses to produce its Tencel fibres makes it the most 'green' manmade cellulosic high-performance fibres so far. Tencel is the perfect input to produce green textile and nonwoven products.
How do you ensure sustainability in your sourcing supply chain? Can technology be used in that area as well?
We have a strict sourcing policy to safeguard our main raw materials. Wood and dissolving pulp come from sustainable sources. In addition to the ones rigorously adhering to the strict European Union (EU) forestry laws, Lenzing also prefers suppliers who participate in well-known forest certification programmes like PERC or FSC.
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