Someone wearing a lavender set of TENCEL Lyocell loungewear singlet and shorts by MATE the Label.
20 Jan
Someone wearing a lavender set of TENCEL Lyocell loungewear singlet and shorts by MATE the Label.

Top 17 Brands Using Sustainable Alternatives to Viscose

Viscose is often touted as an eco-friendly material, but it comes with its own set of pros and cons. If you want to avoid it, what are some sustainable alternatives to viscose to look out for?

What’s up with conventional viscose?

As one of the most widely used fabrics in the world, you’ve likely heard of the semi-synthetic material known as viscose, a type of rayon. Made from wood cellulose and processed with chemicals to create a durable and versatile fabric, viscose is touted as an environmentally-friendly alternative to other harmful threads like conventional cotton and polyester. But while viscose is not inherently toxic or polluting, it comes with its own set of pros and cons, much like any other fabric.

There are two main concerns with viscose production: the source of the wood pulp and how it is turned into usable fabric. Unless certified by companies like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or produced by LENZING™, it is difficult to know if your new silky top contributed to the deforestation of vulnerable forests or released toxic chemicals into the air and waterways near factories. That is a gamble many conscious consumers aren’t willing to take. So, what are the alternatives?

Sustainable alternatives to viscose

As always, using what you have and opting for second hand are your most sustainable choices. But when you do need to buy new and want to make the best choice possible, what are some better alternatives to viscose? And which “Good” or “Great” brands are incorporating them into their designs?

ECOVERO™

As technology progresses, new materials are created, such as ECOVERO™. Produced by LENZING™, this innovative fabric is made using sustainable wood from controlled sources, which are either Forest Stewardship Council or Program for Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes certified in Europe. More than 60% of the trees used to produce the fibre come from Austria and Bavaria to ensure lower emissions. Nearly all the chemicals used during the production of ECOVERO™ are also recovered and reused, causing 50% less emissions and taking up half as much energy and water.

Armedangels

Rated: Great
A full length floral patterned ECOVERO dress by Armedangels.

VIRVAA Mimose Blooms – Ships internationally from Germany

Affordable, ethical, and on-trend. Germany’s Armedangels gets a “Great” rating overall from us. The brand covers all the basics for women, men, and kids. Armedangels’ quality and long-lasting pieces are made from eco-friendly and certified materials, like the ECOVERO™ in this VIRVAA dress. The brand also adopted the Fair Wear Foundation Code of Conduct to protect its workers abroad. Products are available in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Armedangels.

Shop Armedangels @ Earthkind.

Shop Armedangels @ Veneka.

LANIUS

Rated: Good
Close up of an animal print orange and cream long viscose skirt by LANIUS.

Maxi Skirt Print Jungle – Ships within Europe from Germany

“Love Fashion, Think Organic, Be Responsible” are the maxims of LANIUS. The German brand uses eco-friendly materials, like GOTS certified cotton or the ECOVERO™ in this eye-catching jungle-print skirt. All LANIUS facilities are SA8000 certified and it is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation. LANIUS’ clothes are available in EU sizes 34-44.

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Shop LANIUS.

Shop LANIUS @ Curate.

Baukjen

Rated: Good
Someone wearing a cobalt blue sustainable viscose shirt by Baukjen.

Pia Top with LENZING™ ECOVERO™ – Ships internationally from the UK

Baukjen is a London-based womenswear brand, with a focus on environmental, ethical, and sustainable style. Its clothes are designed for you, designed for good. The brand uses some eco-friendly materials, which helps limit the amount of chemicals, water, and wastewater used in production. We love this glamorous boho cobalt blue top, sustainably made with 95% ECOVERO™. Find the range in sizes XS-L.

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Shop Baukjen.

TENCEL™ Lyocell or Modal

TENCEL™ Lyocell, also made by LENZING™, is made using a 99% closed-loop system, meaning chemicals are captured and reused. It is a fantastic sustainable alternative to all cellulose-based fibres that fall under the “rayon” umbrella, and is being taken up by numerous eco-conscious brands thanks to its light footprint. The fabric is strong, moisture-resistant, and gentle on skin. While its cousin TENCEL™ Modal captures and reuses less chemicals than Lyocell, it is still a better alternative to conventional viscose.

Whimsy + Row

Rated: Good
A white wrap dress by Whimsy + Row made from TENCEL Lyocell and cupro.

Lola Wrap Dress in Cream – Ships internationally from the US

Whimsy + Row is an eco-conscious lifestyle brand born from a love for quality goods and sustainable practices. Since 2014, its mission has been to provide ease and elegance for the modern, sustainable woman. Whimsy + Row utilises deadstock fabric, and by limiting each garment to short runs, the brand also reduces packaging waste and takes care of precious water resources. Made from a silky blend of TENCEL™ Lyocell and cupro, the Lola Wrap Dress comes in a range of colours to suit your style. Find most products in XS-XL.

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Shop Whimsy + Row.

Shop Whimsy + Row @ Earthkind.

Tasi Travels

Rated: Good
Someone outdoors wearing a black viscose alternative button up shirt by Tasi Travels.

Men’s Long Sleeve Voyager Shirt Moss – Ships internationally from Australia

For travelwear designed for adventures, look no further than Australian brand Tasi Travels. Boasting a stunning collection of handmade garments in eco-friendly materials that are made-to-order, you can feel good out in the world knowing you are leaving a light footprint behind. We love the stylish, versatile, and comfortable look of the Voyager shirt. Garments come in sizes XS/S, S/M, and M/L.

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Shop Tasi Travels.

MATE the Label

Rated: Great
Someone wearing a lavender set of TENCEL Lyocell loungewear singlet and shorts by MATE the Label.

Tencel Sleep Short – Ships internationally from the US

MATE the Label creates clean essentials made with GOTS certified organic fabrics and low-impact dyes. Its goal is to offer women a clean product that is just as beautiful as sustainable. It is proudly female-founded and is predominately operated by women. This US brand also manufactures locally to reduce its carbon footprint. How pretty are these lavender TENCEL™ Lyocell and organic cotton blend sleep shorts? Find the range in inclusive sizes XS-3XL.

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Shop MATE the Label.

tentree

Rated: Good
A pink lyocell cap with a white tree design, ethically made by tentree.

Tree Embroidery Tencel Peak Hat – Ships internationally from Canada

Canadian brand tentree believes big change starts small. Small as in bringing your reusable bag to the grocery store, making fewer, more thoughtful purchases, and choosing to purchase sustainably when you do. The brand plants ten trees for every item purchased to help regenerate ecosystems and provide planting jobs in communities around the world and has already planted over 65 million trees.

All tentree’s products are created with an Earth-First approach, meaning they’re made in fair, safe working conditions and constructed using only sustainably sourced and recycled materials like this super cute 100% TENCEL™ Lyocell cap. tentree’s comfy fabrics and easy wardrobe staples are typically available from XS to XL.

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Shop tentree.

Patagonia

Rated: Good
Ethically made eco-friendly viscose alternative boxers by Patagonia.

Men’s Essential Boxer Briefs – Ships internationally from the US

Patagonia is a brand that truly lives and breathes the great outdoors. It makes clothing for trail running, climbing, mountain biking, surfing, skiing, and snowboarding. Patagonia has strong labour rights and uses recycled, rather than virgin, polyester. It has also committed to reducing its energy use and emissions, exemplified by the use of TENCEL™ Lyocell like in these breathable boxer briefs. Find most of the range in sizes XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Patagonia @ LVR Sustainable.

Shop Patagonia @ Labell-D.

Shop Patagonia.

Shop Patagonia Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Shop Patagonia Kids Pre-Owned @ Retykle.

TAMGA Designs

Rated: Good
A child wearing a cream and navy blye viscose lyocell skirt by TAMGA Designs.

Little Noa Skirt – Ships internationally from Canada

TAMGA Designs is out to prove how colourful and exciting sustainable fashion can be, serving up gorgeous, flowy designs that will glide you into warmer weather with poise and grace. TAMGA offers a range of tops, skirts, dresses, and accessories made from 100% Micro TENCEL™ and ECOVERO™, like in this adorable printed kids’ skirt. You can find the full range of this Canadian brand in sizes XS-2XL.

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Shop TAMGA Designs.

COSSAC

Rated: Good
two images of kimono jumpsuit in black by Cossac

Black Kimono Style Jumpsuit– Ships internationally from Europe

Offers

A beige woollen knit jumper ethically made by COSSAC.

COSSAC – Site-wide

Celebrating the launch of COSSAC's #ECOHOT knit range. You can choose between vegan options and recycled wool styles. 10% off with code KNIT10. (Ends: 5 OCT)

Checkout code: KNIT10
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COSSAC is a British brand that believes in creating timeless, feminine and versatile apparel sustainably. They work exclusively with small family run, ISO or GOTS-certified factories with whom they’ve built close relationships with and selectively use sustainable materials in their limited run collections. The super versatile Kimono Style Jumpsuit, made of 100% Tencel, is a classic piece providing quality and comfort. Find most of the range in sizes S-L.

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Shop COSSAC.

Shop COSSAC @ Earthkind.

Mother of Pearl

Rated: Good
Wide leg black trousers sustainably made by Mother of Pearl.

Dawson Cropped Black Trouser – Ships internationally from the UK

Mother of Pearl is a sustainable and ethical luxury womenswear and accessories designer brand from the UK that celebrates individuality and authenticity. The brand uses a high proportion of eco-friendly materials, including organic cotton, and ensures the payment of a living wage across some of its supply chain. The Dawson’s are cut from a black soft TENCEL™ Lyocell. Find most products in UK sizes 6 to 16.

See the rating.

Shop Mother of Pearl.

Shop Mother of Pearl @ Rêve en Vert.

Shop Mother of Pearl Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

AndAll

Rated: Good
man wearing genderless oxford shirt ethically made by AndAll

The Digital Oxford Shirt – Ships internationally from Hong Kong

Based in Hong Kong, AndAll is a size- and gender-inclusive shirt brand featuring modern prints made for all in its Digital Oxford Shirt. It uses a high proportion of eco-friendly materials, including TENCEL™ Lyocell, and reduces its climate impact by using renewable energy in its supply chain. It is inclusively sized from 1-7, with instructions on measuring yourself for the perfect fit.

See the rating.

Shop AndAll.

Mila.Vert

Rated: Great
Someone wearing sunglasses outdoors wearing a black sustainable viscose alternative scarf by Mila.Vert.

TENCEL™ Scarf And Face Cover – Ships internationally from Slovenia

Offers

Two people wearing a black and a beige more sustainable knit by Mila.Vert.

Mila.Vert – Site-wide

Mila.Vert's organic cotton knitwear is made in EU in a family-owned studio, is PETA-approved, and is sure to make you look and feel chic no matter the occasion. Exclusive 10% off with code GOODONYOU. (Ends: 31 OCT)

Checkout code: GOODONYOU
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Mila.Vert offers timeless, minimal, and chic clothing, adding sophisticated details that give the garments a modern feel. The Slovenia-based brand wants to make desirable clothing, avoiding the ethical and environmental issues that the fashion industry represents. Not only is this chic vegan scarf made from 100% TENCEL™, it can be used as everything from a hair tie to a face covering. Find the garments in sizes XS-XL, or make a custom fit order free of charge.

See the rating.

Shop Mila.Vert.

ISTO.

Rated: Good
Shot of someone wearing a navy blue car coat ethically made by ISTO.

Car Coat – Ships internationally from Portugal

Offers

A white organic cotton t-shirt by ISTO.

ISTO. – 3-Pack Classic T-Shirts

ISTO. is bringing you the best organic cotton t-shirts you've ever worn for a great price. €6 off 3-pack classic t-shirts. (Ends: 25 OCT)

Shop now

ISTO.’s mandate is simple: create clothes to transcend the seasons and work as staple items in your wardrobe all year round. It has one single collection and pursues quality over quantity to try and make its items permanently available. It uses organic and natural materials, and is incredibly transparent in showing you the true cost of your clothes when you go to purchase a piece for your wardrobe. The brand’s classic and versatile car coat is made from an organic cotton outer, and TENCEL™ lining. The range is available in XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop ISTO..

Upcycled viscose

Upcycled viscose keeps the resource-heavy fabric in circulation longer and is a good option if you can find it. By opting for garments made of rescued rather than virgin fabrics, you are reducing the impact of your closet on climate change, water pollution, and land use, and helping to close the loop in a slower fashion system.

The R Collective

Rated: Great
Someone wearing a black upcycled viscose coat by The R Collective.

Cayce Jacket – Ships internationally from Hong Kong

The R Collective’s womenswear collections are made by reusing rescued excess materials from leading luxury brands and reputable manufacturers. The brand uses a high proportion of eco-friendly materials, limiting the amount of chemicals, water, and wastewater used in production. It also ensures the payment of a living wage in its supply chain. This stunning shiny black jacket is made from a rescued Japanese crepe fabric of upcycled viscose and cotton. The garments are offered in two sizes: XS-S and M-L.

See the rating.

Shop The R Collective.

Shop The R Collective @ ourCommonplace.

OhSevenDays

Rated: Good
A blonde person wearing a blue balloon sleeve sustainable top by OhSevenDays.

Reese Reversible Blouse – Ships internationally from Turkey

OhSevenDays was started by Australian-Canadian Megan Mummery to promote slow fashion and the “power of circularity”. Based in Istanbul, the brand reclaims end-of-roll fabrics from the city’s garment factories and creates sharp, everyday womenswear that’s as wearable as it is ethical. Essentially, it makes slow fashion from fast fashion’s leftovers, like the surplus TENCEL™ in this gorgeous reversible blouse. OhSevenDays’ garments are available in sizes XS-XL or custom sizing.

See the rating.

Shop OhSevenDays.

Shop OhSevenDays @ SlowCo.

Altar

Rated: Good
Cropped shot of someone wearing a pink triblend ethically made shirt by Altar.

Rowan Wrap Knit Top In Clay – Ships internationally from the US

Altar is a US-based boutique that specialises in alternative and custom fashion, apothecary, and gifts. The brand celebrates independent manufacturers and artists from across North America, with a focus on the stories that are woven into their work. Its clothing brand, Altar Houseline, is proudly made in America using deadstock materials like the tri-blend of viscose, polyester, and spandex in this wrap top. Find the top in sizes XS to 6XL.

See the rating.

Shop Altar.

Other up-and-coming sustainable viscose alternatives to look out for

While we recommend ECOVERO™, TENCEL™ Lyocell and Modal, and upcycled viscose as more ethical and sustainable alternatives to viscose, they aren’t the only options—just the most widely available at present. As technology improves and there is a demand for more versatile eco-friendly fabrics, innovations are emerging all the time. Some materials to keep an eye out for are bamboo-based Monocel®, REFIBRA™ and Eastman Naia™ (specifically Naia Renew, made from a combination of sustainably-sourced wood pulp and acetic acid derived from recycled materials), both of which have been well-rated in our methodology.

Some bonus fibres are Spinnova, Infinna, Circulose, and Orange Fiber, which has collaborated with LENZING™ to develop a Lyocell version of the fabric. Note that these newer fibres may not yet be widely commercially available, and may not have been analysed by our methodology, so we cannot guarantee their eco-credentials at this time. However, they are promising developments in viscose and rayon alternatives and are worth looking into over conventional viscose.

Editor's note

Feature image via MATE the label, all other images via brands mentioned. Good On You publishes the world's most comprehensive ratings of fashion brands’ impact on people, the planet and animals. Use the Directory to search thousands of rated brands. To support our work, we may earn a commission on sales made using our offer codes or affiliate links.

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