The first integrated viscose-rayon fiber producer in Indonesia, Asia Pacific Rayon, held a gala dinner and fashion show titled 'Revitalizing Indonesian Textile Industry: Plantation to Fashion' at the Grand Mercure Hotel in Jakarta on Friday. (Photo courtesy of Asia Pacific Rayon)

Viscose-Rayon: Next Big Thing in Sustainable Fashion

APRIL 01, 2019

Jakarta. Viscose-rayon is expected to be the next big thing in sustainable fashion fabric, as its production involves lower carbon footprint, its Indonesian producer, Asia Pacific Rayon, said in Jakarta on Thursday.

Producing viscose-rayon, a new type of biodegradable fabric, is part of APR's efforts to transform the company abd make it to be more sustainable. 

Production of the textile from start to finish is environmentally friendly, Cherie Tan, vice president of communication and sustainability at APR, said at the Indo-Intertex fashion and textile exhibition at JIExpo Kemayoran in Central Jakarta.

"Many countries are now looking for an alternative to single-use plastics, and they are looking for natural options. Viscose is a good alternative because it is a natural raw material that's also biodegradable," Cherie said.

APR had just started their viscose production using all-wood raw materials made to international certification standards.

Most of the raw materials come from their sister company, the APRIL Group.

"In 2015, April made a strong ‘no deforestation, no new peatland development’ commitment. They also have a one for one commitment, where for every hectare of plantation they manage they aim to conserve and restore one hectare of forest, and are now over 80 percent towards that target," Cherie said.

To raise awareness of their new product, APR has been trying to get local fashion designers to use viscose-rayon as part of their collections.

They also launched the "I Love Viscose" campaign in collaborations with fashion schools in Indonesia.

"We want to share more of our story, about April's sustainable forest management, about the work we've been doing for certification and plantation management, and about our efforts to be totally transparent in showing the full traceability of our viscose [materials]," Cherie said.

APR also looks forward to help meet the government's Industry 4.0 goals by making the material much more accessible to manufacturers in Indonesia.

"How we can support the [Industry] 4.0 agenda is by ensuring we produce enough raw materials in Indonesia, for the Indonesian market. Our goal is to make us less reliant on imports," Cherie said.

Three areas have to be managed expertly if viscose production is to be sustainable: pulp-sourcing – making sure that pulp is produced sustainably and does not contribute to deforestation; supporting international certification standards including the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) and Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC); ensuring that the manufacturing of raw materials for viscose is also sustainable by lowering emissions; and improving engagement and relationship with local communities.

APR has already formed plans to collaborate with garment producers in the future, but for now it is focusing on starting production smoothly in its new factory in Riau.

"To start our operation smoothly, we must focus on the quality of our product, the service we give to our customers and keep working on new innovations, while never forgetting the sustainability principle," Cherie said.

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