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Viscose producers unveil pulp procurement policies


March 9, 2016
By Cindy Macdonald

The use of ancient forest fiber in fabrics is becoming unfashionable. Six large Chinese viscose producers have joined the CanopyStyle campaign committed to eliminating the world’s ancient and endangered forests from their fabrics.

To date, 60 brands and designers, representing more than 85 billion USD in annual revenues, have signed on to the CanopyStyle campaign, triggering shifts within the viscose supply chain, according to Canopy, a forest conservation organization. Viscose-grade dissolving pulp is used as a raw material for viscose.

Shandong Yamei Sci-tech Co. Ltd, Tangshan Sanyou Xingda Chemical Fiber Group Co. Ltd., CHTC Helon Co. Ltd., Nanjing Chemical Fiber Co. Ltd. (NCFC), Zhejiang Fulida Co. Ltd., and Xinxiang Chemical Fiber Co. Ltd. are all unveiling their first pulp procurement policies, developed in collaboration with Canopy. The policies commit to eliminating sourcing from threatened forest ecosystems, high-carbon rainforests, and socially controversial sources in the production of their viscose and rayon textiles.

“As part of our commitment, Fulida supports long-term conservation solutions in places like Vancouver Island’s coastal temperate rainforest, Canada’s Boreal forest, and the rainforests of Indonesia,” said Wu Wei from Zhejiang Fulida.

“With the continued shift in brands’ environmental requirements, incorporating sustainable forest fiber procurement criteria is a sound business decision,” said Dr. Christian Reisinger, CEO of Shandong Yamei Sci-tech Co. Ltd. “We are committed to working with all our suppliers and customers to eliminate ancient forests and other controversial sources from our supply chain, particularly from the Canadian and Russian Boreal Forests, Coastal Temperate Rainforests, tropical forests and peatlands of Indonesia, the Amazon and West Africa, and other endangered species habitat.”

“Leading brands and designers continue to send a clear market signal to the world’s main viscose manufacturers in China,” said Nicole Rycroft, Canopy founder and executive director. “The leadership of these six producers now means that viscose manufacturers representing close to 65 per cent of global rayon production are committed to the CanopyStyle campaign – which has established the now global trend that endangered forest fabrics are out of vogue.”

In addition to these six companies announcing their new policies, Aditya Birla, Lenzing, and Sateri have made similar commitments in the past year. Canopy says the next milestone expected from producers with forest protection policies is independent third party verification. Canopy will analyze how the top 10 viscose producers perform in comparison to their peers in the industry with a benchmark report to be released in the late spring of 2016.