Jakarta. Asia Pacific Rayon, or APR, is one of the largest integrated producers of viscose-rayon in Asia. The sustainably-produced fibre is commonly used in outerwear—from casual shirts to coats—and now the company wants it to be used in haute couture as well. It also believes that the increasingly fine fabric can boost Indonesia's textile exports.
The company is part of global pulp giant Royal Golden Eagle, controlled by conglomerate Sukanto Tanoto, and had just opened a new plant in Pangkalan Kerinci, Riau, early this year.
The Riau plant will be capable of producing 240,000 tons of viscose-rayon—soft fiber made from dissolved cellulose—every year.
On Thursday (28/03), APR showcased the results of its collaboration with eight Indonesian fashion designers who turned out high-fashion outfits using viscose-rayon as part of the 2019 Indo Intertex fashion and textile exhibition held at JIEXPO Kemayoran in East Jakarta.
"We use sustainable raw material and clean manufacturing to produce our viscose," Cherie Tan, APR's vice president of communications, said at the event.
"We track the sources of our raw material and are committed to be transparent about it. We only use dissolved pulp certified to have no deforestation links," she said.
The company hopes its fine viscose-rayon can soon be found on the catwalks of Paris, Milan and New York as part of the couture collections of many creative young designers from Indonesia trying to make it on the world stage.
"Indonesia's textile and fashion industry has enormous potential. The government is targeting textile exports of $15 billion this year," Muhdori, the Industry Ministry's textile, leather and footwear director, said. Last year's figure was $14 billion.
The Indonesian Textile Association (API) estimates the value of Indonesian textile exports can reach a whopping Rp 444 trillion ($31 billion) by 2025.
"APR is the future of Indonesian textiles, simply because dissolved pulp is the future of the global textile industry," Muhdori said.
APR's director Basrie Kamba said locally made viscose-rayon will offer a big boost to Indonesia's creative economy—something President Jokowi has been especially keen on. Until recently, Indonesia still relied on imports for the material.
"The designers who collaborated with us and were on show today are proof that Indonesia is more than capable of producing high-quality fashion using viscose-rayon. This textile actually gives designers a competitive advantage," Basrie said.
APR plans to exports 96,000 tons of viscose-rayon this year, mostly to Turkey, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.