High street retailers like New Look and Morrisons have signed up to a new sustainability roadmap to ensure they are sourcing sustainable viscose that doesn't contribute to environmental pollution. They have publicly committed to permanently ditch dirty viscose production methods by 2023-25.
Viscose is the third most commonly used fiber in the world and is considered more sustainable than synthetics and cotton. However, cases of viscose suppliers and producers disregarding environmental standards have led to calls for end-user retailers to act. Especially luxury brands and low-cost retailers are accused of failing to take action on supply chain standards. Often companies allow their manufacturers to deliver viscose-based products with little information on their origin or environmental impact. Several large Chinese viscose producers dump toxic wastewater into waterways and fisheries or allow it to seep into nearby agricultural land. China accounts for 63 per cent of global viscose production.
Sustainability is not just a buzzword but is leading to a fundamental shift in the way companies operate. With increasing awareness of the environmental and social impacts of the fashion industry, people expect clothing companies to take responsibility for their supply chains. So brands and retailers are opening their supply chains up to external scrutiny.