Lenzing Launches Fibre Recycling Initiative with Mechanically Recycled Lyocell

Leading global producer of wood-based specialty fibres Lenzing has launched a recycling initiative to drive circularity in the global textiles industry. This is being done in association with its partners in Spain, Pakistan and Brazil.

Long Story, Cut Short
  • The Fibre Recycling Initiative is expected to transform the future of the textiles industry with circularity and innovation at heart, starting with the denim segment in the initial phase.
  • Lenzing’s long-term partners are at the forefront of fibre circularity, advocating for the mechanical recycling of Tencel-branded lyocell fibres for use in the production of original denim fabrics at a commercial scale.
The mechanical recycling process under way at a Textil Santanderina facility.
Recycling Lyocell The mechanical recycling process under way at a Textil Santanderina facility. Textil Santanderina / Lenzing AG

A new initiative has been launched by the Lenzing Group to recycle its Tencel-branded lyocell fibres.

  • The initiative, titled Fibre Recycling Initiative, will be executed together with its mill partners— Artistic Milliners from Pakistan, Canatiba from Brazil and Textil Santanderina from Spain.
  • The move, aimed at driving circularity in the global textiles industry, kicked off with the production of denim fabrics derived from mechanically recycled Tencel fibres. 
  • With usage of pre-consumer lyocell waste at a commercial scale, the initiative seeks to redefine the circular future of a sustainable denim industry globally.

Recycling the Lyocell Fibres: The initial phase of the initiative spotlights the ongoing quest for sustainable denim production and innovation from Lenzing and its mill partners as they answer a common call for sustainability, circularity and transparency in the global textiles value chain. 

  • This is driven by a growing demand from consumers who are looking for more sustainable and circular product options, according to Lenzing.
  • Virgin Tencel fibres are reputable for their environmentally responsible, closed loop production process, which transforms sustainably sourced wood pulp into cellulosic fibres with high resource efficiency and low carbon footprint. 
  • Mechanically recycled Tencel fibres adds to the sustainability features of the denim fabric, as it does not require usage of water or chemicals, according to Lenzing.
  • Fabrics produced using mechanically recycled Tencel fibres feature a “close-to-cotton” aesthetics while retaining the core features of Tencel, like breathability, smooth drape, gentle on skin and long-lasting comfort.
  • The fibres are also identifiable in end products, ensuring traceability and transparency of production processes
    With the ability to be traced back to their sources, the use of these recycled fibres can be documented and verified, ensuring greater accountability and transparency in the supply chain.

What They Said:

As we constantly seek ways to improve circularity across various components of the textile industry, our like-minded, decades-long value chain partners have innovatively discovered the mechanical recycling of Tencel fibres in denim production. While such concept is still relatively new to the wider industry, the development of the ‘Fiber Recycling Initiative’ by Tencel sets out to promote the benefits and unleash the full potential of the new circular fabric.

Tuncay Kılıçkan
Head of Global Business Development, Denim

Denim circularity is undeniably the present, and the inevitable future of denim. We have seen wider adaptation of mechanical recycling beyond textiles, particularly in paper and construction industries. Considering the high tenacity of Tencel fibres, there is an edge to increase recycled content while producing higher quality fabrics. The new fabric has so much potential across global markets, especially with the nostalgia around Y2K and other vintage looks. The classic salt and pepper effect really blooms with mechanically recycled Tencel fibres.

Baber Sultan
Director of Research, Product and Trend 
Artistic Milliners

We believe that the future of the textile industry depends on sustainability and circularity, which can also guarantee the survival of denim. The awareness of reducing environmental impact within our sector is growing, especially with the industry trends of circular economy and sustainable production practices. I expect that innovation and technological improvements around circularity, including phases of collection, selection and recycling, will result in a greater need for mechanically recycled cellulosic fibres.

José Antonio Mazorra
Corporate Social Responsibility Manager 
Textil Santanderina

  • Dated posted: 14 April 2023
  • Last modified: 14 April 2023
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