Climate resistance, odor control, UV protection, moisture management, and many additional benefits are available in today’s smart textiles that are engineered to work hard and look beautiful all day. Demand is growing for performance clothing that seamlessly crosses over from the gym to the street. Designers must rely on high-performance materials to contribute the majority of functional benefits that consumers require. Consumers want to know that the clothing they buy is made with consideration for the planet and that it does no harm during or at the end of its useful life.
To date, the vast majority of performance fabrics have been made from synthetic materials. While synthetics deliver outstanding technical benefits, consumers are starting to question some of the environmental aspects, including the raw material sources and potential microplastic pollution from use, care and disposal. Natural fibers like cotton, hemp, linen and wool are loved for their connection to the earth, but many of the performance features in demand today must be instilled into the fabrics with chemical treatments.
Botanic fibers like Tencel branded lyocell bridge the gap, combining high-performance benefits and natural origins along with an environmentally responsible profile from beginning to the end of its life cycle.