Viscose Vegan-Friendly Fabric | Toxic?

Viscose fabric vegan, toxic or not

Last updated Feb. 2, 2019

Viscose is another artificial fibre, made from wood pulp. To make viscose, wood pulp is treated with toxic chemicals such as caustic soda and sulphuric acid.4

Further research about viscose was confusing because of different names as: viscose, viscose rayon, rayon, bamboo viscose, modal and lyocell.

All have in common being manufactured from cellulose regenerated from natural sources. The different names come from the standardization of the term by institutions, how it used to be called in Europe or USA or diverse wood pulp trees used.

  • Viscose, even though it’s an artificial fibre and its toxic process, as derived from natural sources is better than polyester that’s a synthetic fibre derived from petrochemicals. First options are bamboo viscose and lyocell.
  • The viscose fabric is biodegradable.
  • The viscose fabric is vegan.
  • An organic solvent is used to produce lyocell, making it a more eco-friendly method.
  • In the search of sustainable fabrics, regulations are being created to protect the environment and humanity. Because of these policies, industries have moved to countries with fewer rules. Support factories that use the regulatory protocol.
  • Support designers who choose the low-impact environment fabrics for their designs.
  • Use eco-friendly products to take care of your garments.

Definitions: Artificial fibre: man-made.

Synthetic fibre: Artificial fibres ‘are made of polymers that do not occur naturally but instead are produced entirely in the chemical plant or laboratory, almost always from by-products of petroleum or natural gas.’ 1 Example: polyester.

Regenerated fibres: Artificial fibres that ‘are derived from naturally-occurring polymers.’2 These polymers have been modified. For instance: viscose.

Viscose fabric - vegan - eco-friendly or toxic

Natural fibre: ‘consist of polymers (in this case, biologically produced compounds such as cellulose and protein), but they emerge from the textile manufacturing process in a relatively unaltered state.’ 3 For instance: cotton.


Senthilkannan, S. (2014). Roadmap to Sustainable Textiles and Clothing: Eco-friendly Raw Materials. Springer. ISBN 978-981-287-064-3.

Aldrich, W. (2013). Fabrics and Pattern Cutting. John Wiley & sons, LTD. 978-1-119-96717-0.

Eichhorn, S, Hearle, J, Jaffe, M, Kikutani, T. (2009). Handbook of Textile Fibre Structure: VOLUMEN 2: Natural, Regenerated, inorganic and specialist fibres.   Woodhead Publishing Limited. 978-1-84569-380-0.

Fletcher, K.(2014). Sustainable Fashion and Textiles: Design Journeys.   Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-64455-3.

Encyclopedia Britannica. Man made fibre. [Consulted: 2014, November 4] 1 2 3 Fibre Briefing: Viscose. [Consulted: 2019, February 2] 4


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