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Tencel - the backbone of ono bags

August 25, 2015

Hello everyone!

To start off this post, let me ask you a question:
What do you associate with Eucalyptus?

Many might think about cough drops, essential oils, or maybe even food for Koalas. For us at ono, Eucalyptus is literally the backbone of our bags. Tencel® is the name of the backing material that is glued on our cork and this is made mostly from Eucalyptus trees. Considering that ono bags are made from cork on the outside, it is only fitting that the backing is a material that also originates from trees.

We want to tell you more about this innovative and super sustainable fibre, as we believe that although it is not directly visible in our products, it deserves a lot of credit!

Tencel® or lyocell is made from wood, using mostly Eucalyptus but also birch and oak wood, which is turned into wood pulp and ultimately into fibres. One thing the three types of trees all have in common is that they are generally grown on land, which is otherwise unusable for agriculture. This is unlike cotton for example, which competes for land with other agricultural plants. The wood for making lyocell is sourced from sustainably managed tree farms, which ensure that the number of trees that are cut down are matched by new trees planted to grow back.

Turning the wood into pulp and fibres, which can then be turned into yarn and spun into fabric is done through an innovative closed-loop process. This means that throughout the different steps the use of energy and water is economical and the impact on the environment minimal. For example, the solvent that is used to extract fibre from the wood pulp is almost completely recovered and can then be reused for the next batch.

The fabric is not only sustainable in it’s production but also has some pretty awesome features when it comes to its usability. It is considered to be more absorbent than cotton, softer than silk and cooler than linen while being extremely sturdy, thanks to the high tenacity of the wood cellulose. The natural origin also means that the material is quickly and fully biodegradable.

Who would have thought that something as soft and flexible as our bags could be made from something as majestic and solid as a tree…