Eucalyptus and Beechwood: From Trees To Athletic Apparel

Eucalyptus tree to sportswear

Let’s start with a little story. There once was a magician who lived in a kingdom where no one was wearing clothes. Since the king didn’t really like that, he asked that the magician would come up with a solution. The magician saw that there were plenty of trees in the kingdom and figured it would be best to use these trees to make clothing from. He cut the trees down and tried to make clothing out of it. He tried and tried, but it never worked and that’s the end of the story. Not sure if I’ll ever be a good writer for children's books, but I think that it truly is magical how we are able to turn trees into clothing.

Wait a minute, did you just say turn wood into clothing? Oh yeah! Lyocell and modal (both TENCEL™ products) are made from eucalyptus and beech trees.

Interesting, so how does this work? Well, first you need some trees (duh), which are then cut down and shredded into pieces. After that, the pieces go into a bath of chemicals (usually NMNO) and then you get usable strings to make yarn and fabric from.

But wait … solving cellulose materials in chemicals sound harmful, and haven’t we heard that before in the blog about bamboo? Well done Sherlock, that’s some grade A researching right there! It’s true that the process is similar, but like with many great things, the difference lies in the execution. Lyocell and modal are made in a closed-loop system (no not Elon’s hyperloop, but a closed loop) in which the factories recycle up to 99,9% of the chemicals used, so they don’t have a bad impact on the environment.

lyocell production for sportswear

Environmental benefits
Besides not dumping lots of chemicals into the environment, which is pretty cool, both lyocell and modal have some other environmental benefits. If we compare them to cotton, growing the trees only needs about 20% of the land and 10% of the water that cotton would need. Isn’t that just awesome?! Besides that the 100% lyocell and modal fabrics are also biodegradable, so that’s a win-win no matter what. If you want to know more about the production process, you can click here.

Wearing benefits
Cool benefits, but what if I’m going to wear it? Just like hemp, it’s all natural, which means that it can’t get static on your skin. Besides this lyocell and modal are also good at wicking moisture away from the body and keep your body cool when you wear it. Great for workouts!

And now for the question, you all have been waiting for: will we as Iron Roots make apparel out of lyocell and modal? Oh yeah! We already make some of our products from these materials, and will continue to do so! We need a variety of materials like hemp, lyocell and modal to make the industry more sustainable, so not having this in our arsenal would be a crime.

Enjoy your weekend and we’ll see you next Friday!

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