Lenzing Nanjing Fibers has decided to leave the Chinese Collaboration for Sustainable Development of Viscose. The business will 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 is currently the most ambitious guidelines for cleaner viscose manufacturing. Many leading apparel brands are said to favor this standard. As a sustainability leader in the industry, Lenzing 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 fibers.
The Chinese viscose initiative originally encompassed 10 viscose producers in China joining forces to make the industry more sustainable. However, despite launching with much fanfare last year, Chinese viscose factories which have signed up to a high-profile industry sustainability initiative are continuing to violate regulations. There are significant gaps in the Collaboration for Sustainable Development of Viscose. The initiative is said to be short on ambition and will not meet NGO requirements on responsible viscose, which have been endorsed by leading fashion brands.