What is lyocell?– Hamilton and Hare

What is lyocell?

With a name like ‘lyocell’ you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is some sort of highly engineered, lab-made synthetic, but it isn’t (if it were, we wouldn’t use it). Lyocell is a natural, sustainable fibre derived from eucalyptus trees: it’s softer than silk, hypoallergenic, naturally thermoregulating, and with a very low environmental impact. It’s something of a miracle fabric and we like to use it wherever we can across our range of underwear, sleepwear and loungewear.

Eucalyptus trees use 20 times less water than cotton plants and can thrive on land that’s not fertile for food crops. They require no fertilizers or pesticides. The fibre is made from the wood pulp and no chemicals are needed for extraction and it also requires less dying processes too.

This innovative fabric is antibacterial and hypoallergenic too. Unlike synthetics, moisture is absorbed into the fibres rather than staying on the surface which prevent bacteria from growing.

It starts with the eucalyptus tree

 Lyocell is a natural cellulose fibre that’s harvested from the eucalyptus tree – a renewable resource that’s grown in regulated forests in Spain and Portugal. Before you even get to the myriad benefits of the end product, there are many advantages to the actual growing process. The eucalyptus tree is felled rather than uprooted, meaning there’s no need to continuously replant trees, and they also grow very quickly. They don’t require irrigation or pesticides, they can grow in poor, rocky soil that can’t sustain other plant life, and best of all they require 20 times less water than a cotton crop equivalent. 

We believe it’s important to cut out synthetic fibres wherever possible. 70% of all clothing is still made from synthetic fibres like polyester, acrylic, and nylon, and the vast majority of that is virgin. Use of these materials is particularly prevalent in underwear manufacture, and where some clothing brands have now committed to using natural fibres, there are still very few options when it comes to underwear. Besides the initial impact involved in producing them, synthetic materials shed microplastics when washed, which break down further once they reach landfill or the oceans, eventually entering the food chain.If we’re talking about underwear, then the single most important quality is comfort. In the case of lyocell, it’s even softer than silk, making it incredibly well suited to sitting directly against the skin. It wicks moisture and regulates temperature, and even has natural antibacterial properties.