Tencel Fabric: UK ethical range of workwear

Discover our range of Tencel fabric clothing and find out why you should make the switch for your workwear.

Introducing Tencel, a new sustainably sourced fabric available with selected items in our Boyd Cooper Made to Order range of healthcare and hospitality workwear. 

You’ll love turning up to work in a uniform made from Tencel fabric. It’s silky smooth, cooling, antibacterial, hypoallergenic and made from 100% natural materials, making it environmentally friendly. Tencel has a lot of benefits, and we’d love to share them with you in our latest products:

What is Tencel?

Tencel is an innovative and sustainably produced fibre made through environmentally responsible processes. The fibre is made from eucalyptus wood processed into supple fibre to create a soft, silky feel. It can be used on its own or mixed with existing fibres such as cotton, polyester, acrylic, wool or silk, to improve its look, durability or functionality.

Tencel is one of the very few fibres internationally recognised by the European Ecolabel for environmental standards. This label awards products and services that have a low environmental impact throughout their entire lifecycle, which means Tencel doesn’t harm the planet even after use. To achieve this award, Tencel had to meet the strictest of ecological standards, and it’s why Alexandra was so determined to use it within our products.

Tencel fabric is made from eucalyptus and beech pulpTencel fabric is made from eucalyptus and beech pulp
Tencel fabric is made from eucalyptus and beech pulp

How is Tencel fabric sustainable?

Tencel is sustainable across its materials, manufacturing process and end of life disposable. 

The fibre is made from a mixture of eucalyptus and beech wood sourced from forests and plantations certified by the PEFC and FSC for responsible management. The trees are planted on land that is generally unsuitable for food production, and their yield is many times higher than that of cotton. The few chemicals used in the eucalyptus processing are 99.6% reused, so they don’t pollute the environment, and any wastewater released is checked to be harmless.

Even after use, Tencel continues to be sustainable. The fibre is biodegradable and certified as compostable under industrial, home, soil and marine conditions. So the fibre can revert to nature, even if it ends up in the wrong place. 

How is Tencel made?

The production process of Tencel is rated for its high efficiency and low ecological impact. The wood is obtained from sustainable and managed forests. The trees are cut, the bark is removed, and then the bare trunks are chopped into tiny pieces about the size of a postage stamp. The wood is then made into a pulp, dried and broken into pieces for use as the fibre. The fibres are made using a closed-loop process that uses as little energy and few resources as possible.

Tencel fabric is made from beech and eucaluyptus pulpTencel fabric is made from beech and eucaluyptus pulp
Tencel fabric is made from beech and eucaluyptus pulp

Is Tencel good for hot weather?

Tencel is excellent for hot weather as it provides ventilation, absorbs moisture and releases it efficiently so that items made from it dry quickly. The fibre’s qualities help prevent overheating and keeps the wearer nice and cool when worn, making it ideal for workwear.

According to research by its creators, bacterial growth is 2000 times slower with Tencel than with synthetic fabrics. In addition, the fibre’s ability to efficiently absorb moisture slows bacterial growth and makes it suitable to be worn close to the skin and means it’s an ideal material for healthcare or food preparation uniforms.

Is Tencel better than cotton?

Tencel offers the same benefits as cotton with some additions. Tencel tends to feel softer than cotton and more like silk, making it more comfortable to wear for long periods and ideal for workwear.

 The fibre is also at least as warm as wool but absorbs 150% more moisture than cotton, making it a better choice for wicking and keeping cool. Finally, if cared for correctly, Tencel is very durable and doesn’t succumb to the same signs of wear as cotton, like thinning. 

What are the benefits of Tencel?

  • Made from 100% natural materials and suitable for vegans
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Silky soft and luxurious
  • Temperature regulating. Warm in the winter, cool in the summer
  • Optimal ventilation, making it a relief for your skin
  • Very strong and durable
  • Exceptional moisture absorption
  • Prevents irritation with a silky finish
  • Anti-allergic and antibacterial
  • A solution for asthma patients and ideal for people with a dust mite allergy or sensitive skin

Does Tencel shrink when washed?

Tencel will shrink by about 3% on the first wash, and then after that, it should be fine. The fibre is made to resist shrinking, but you do still have to be careful. Like many other fabrics, avoid washing it on high heat, and it should remain a consistent size.

Varese by Alexandra

If the Tencel fibre alone wasn’t innovative enough, we’ve also been busy refining how we use it. Alexandra’s new Varese material is made from a 64% polyester / 33% Tencel mix and has many advantages. 

The fabric is breathable and absorbs moisture well to keep the wearer cool. It’s stretchable for comfort and ease of movement and is durable to retain its shape even during repeated wash cycles of the industrial laundering process. Varese is an exceptional fabric that’s comfortable to wear, and the inclusion of Tencel makes it better for the environment. 

Tencel fabrics are available in a range of 16 colours and various garment styles in our Boyd Cooper Made to Order Range. For the full range of available garments and sizes, please contact Alexandra.

Find out more about Alexandra's ethical workwear.

Boyd Cooper Made to Order rangeBoyd Cooper Made to Order range
Boyd Cooper Made to Order range