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Spotlight on outdoor clothing: Biodegradable fleece made from wood cellulose

Copyright: Vaude.

Wood to wear? Yes, it’s possible! For its Winter Collection 20/21, the outdoor specialist Vaude is once again offering textiles made from biodegradable fleece fabrics with wood cellulose.

The ‘Women’s Elope Fleece Jacket’ for hiking and trekking contains 62 % recycled polyester in addition to its wood cellulose fibre. In a statement, Vaude said it was “the perfect choice for hiking with a clean conscience and when all you want to leave behind is a good impression”. A small contribution toward fighting the growing problem of plastic waste in our environment.

Back in the autumn of 2017, the first biodegradable fleece from wood cellulose was presented for Vaude’s Green Shape Core Collection. The company describes itself as a pioneer in the field of sustainability, and it has featured this wood fiber-based fleece in its program since the Winter Collection 2018/19 and is driving the development of this revolutionary substance forward.

Up to now, washing clothing made of synthetic fibres (especially polyester and polyamide) has involved releasing microfibers into the environment. Vaude (@VAUDE_sport) wants to stop this flood of microplastics with the development and promotion of new, sustainably innovative fleece materials.

Wood for clothing, reducing microplastics in our seas

The special feature of this biodegradable fleece fabric is its construction. Recycled polyester is used on the smooth outer surface. The inner, napped surface of the knit fabric isn’t made from polyester (as with conventional fleece), but from the 100 % wood cellulose fibre lyocell – and this remains undyed! This fibre is therefore 100 % biodegradable – even in salt water! If microfibres are shed from the napped lining of the fleece during the washing process, they can biodegrade in any environment in about 90 days, without leaving a trace behind and without endangering any living organisms.

In all of its textiles, the Vaude Green Shape label stands for environmentally friendly, functional products made from sustainable materials, it claims. About 90 % of all Vaude Apparel bear the state-regulated textile seal “Grüner Knopf” (green button) that was launched in the autumn of 2019.


If you were interested in this bioeconomy story, you may also be interested in the ones below.

Read: 5 Minutes with… Elisabeth Stanger of Lenzing.

Read: 5 Minutes With…Jochen Lagemann from PrimaLoft.

Read: Outdoor giants give green light to PrimaLoft’s biodegradable insulation and performance fabric.

Read: PrimaLoft unveils biodegradable synthetic fabric made to break down in landfill.

Read: New textile fibre aims to combine sustainability with performance.

Read:  Fashion industry to undergo “transformative” decade in bid to improve its sustainability.

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