To Keep Old Growth Out of New Shirts, Fashion Turns to Technology

Read the full story from Bloomberg Quint.

No one dies for fashion in greater numbers than, it turns out, the trees. More than 150 million are cleared every year, shipped around the world, then pulped and processed into viscose—a.k.a. rayon, the cheap, silk-ish fabric most mass-market brands can’t survive without.

For the growing number of apparel companies promising a more ecologically sound manufacturing process, this presents a problem. The viscose industry relies on wood from around the world, including some areas that have been designated as ecologically sensitive. But by the time the pulp becomes rayon (typically in China), it’s nearly impossible to know whether it originated in American tree farms or Indonesian old growth forests. Unless someone’s paying attention.

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