Style Alert: Eco-Friendly Fabric Tencel

April 14, 2015

Think you’re a tree-hugger? Wait until you start wearing trees on your body, with Tencel, the revolutionary fabric made from wood fibers.

Shopping for high-quality, luxurious clothing can be challenging for vegans, as often the typical materials used for clothes, shoes, and accessories–silk, leather, wool–are animal-based. Imagine my immense joy, then, when I stumbled upon a revolutionary new fabric making its way into mainstream fashion and stores: Tencel (R). I discovered it in my new favorite pair of pants (yes, pants! This was the most revolutionary shopping trip I’ve had in quite some time . . .) from the Gap, and many similar stores carry products made of Tencel.

Also called Lyocell, Tencel has been around since the 1980s but is recently making a come-back with new technologies and increased awareness among shoppers for environmentally sustainable textiles. Tencel is made entirely of raw wood pulp in a closed-loop production cycle, which makes it incredibly eco-friendly. The small fibers from which it is made allow it to absorb moisture at a rate much higher than polyester (yuck!) and cotton. But because the moisture is drawn inside the fabric, not left outside as a film, there’s no risk of bacterial growth–even without chemical additives. At the same time, the texture is incredibly soft and silky, which gives pieces made of Tencel a relaxed, drapey, yet polished feel and look–perfect for this season’s minimalist style. In summary, you get the performance and comfort of athletic-wear in a luxury package.

Adding Tencel to your wardrobe and home is easy. Look out for these items and more in a store near you.

Gap Jogger Pant


The perfect work-to-weekend staple, these are my new go-to pants. $59.95, available in solids and prints


Acne Studios Sleeveless Dress


The coolest way to wear black this summer–a light, ankle-skimming maxi dress. $180

Eucalyptus Origins Sheets at Bed Bath and Beyond


Be comfortable day and night with these earth-tone sheets. $99.99-$129.99


Photos:;; Opening Ceremony;


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Features Editor Jennifer Kurdyla is a New York City girl with Jersey roots and a propensity for getting lost in the urban jungle. An experienced publishing professional, yoga instructor, home chef, sometimes-runner, and writer, she adopted a vegetarian lifestyle in 2008 and became vegan in 2013. She has written for The Harvard Review Online, The Rumpus, and Music & Literature and maintains a wellness-based website, Be Nourished, which features original writing and recipes. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram @jenniferkurdyla, Twitter @jenniferkurdyla, and Pinterest.


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