Manmade Cellulosic Fibers (MMCF)


2020 MMCF Round Table

Download the MMC Part 1 Summary
Download the MMC Part 2 Summary

Envisioning the future of Man-made Cellulosic Fibers (MMCF)

Man-made cellulosic fibers (MMCF) such as Viscose/Rayon, Lyocell, Modal and Cupro, form the second biggest cellulosic fibre group after cotton. The MMCF value chain has the potential to tackle some of the apparel and broader textile industry’s most significant sustainability challenges and, as a consequence, make a very real contribution to building resilience and accelerating regeneration. Its unique prospects for realizing circular fashion, for instance, contrast sharply with the linear models of economic growth that have left many of our ecosystems on the verge of collapse. As a derivative of wood pulp and other natural plant materials, MMCF can play an important role in regenerating many of these ecosystems, as well as ensuring the health of carbon sinks, which play an essential role in stabilizing the Earth’s climate.

To date, however, the sector has faced considerable social and environmental challenges – from deforestation and biodiversity impacts related to raw material sourcing, to safe chemical use and labour rights concerns in the production process. As an industry on the cusp of significant growth, there is a narrow window of opportunity to fully harness MMCF’s potential.

The MMCF 2030 Vision aims to do just that.

Five areas for action: The MMCF 2030 Vision sets out five interrelated areas for ambitious and collaborative action along the entire value chain:

1. Regenerating ecosystems: Restoring natural ecosystems, ensuring a carbon negative value chain, and taking regenerative landscape approaches
2. Producing with zero harm: Managing chemicals and other inputs, zero emissions and closed-loop production systems
3. Enabling circular systems: Designing, incentivizing and implementing circular value chains and zero waste
4.Creating prosperity: Distributing economic value equitably, applying living wage and equality, universal access to education & healthcare
5. Upholding rights: Community empowerment and related access rights, protecting the rights of individuals, indigenous peoples and other communities

The Vision components are underpinned by ten critical enabling factors needed for delivery, including new forms of financing, accelerated routes to scaling innovation, and an enabling policy environment.

Join a webinar:
To learn more about the MMCF Vision, what the industry will do next and how you can use it to help achieve your goals, join a webinar on 13th July:

Monday 13 July: 10:00 BST / 14:30 IST / 17:00 Sing (Asia-friendly time)
Monday 13 July: 09:00 MDT / 16:00 BST / 20:00 IST / 23:00 Sing (US-friendly time)

Who’s Involved:


Can a growing Manmade Cellulosic Fiber (MMCF) market contribute to a global textile industry that protects and restores the environment and enhances lives? Making, sourcing and offering MMCF, like viscose, lyocell or modal, with sustainability in mind is experiencing real momentum and has become a priority for many brands and retailers due to a number of issues and risks associated with MMCF production. Knowing your supply chain down to feedstock level, building strategies and policies to eliminate risks throughout the value chain, engaging with all stakeholders, implementing standards and systems to monitor and measure offer opportunities but demand more know-how, time, resources and commitment.

Textile Exchange has been engaging with hundreds of MMCF stakeholders in recent years, aiming to create leaders in the sustainable fiber and materials sector by providing learning opportunities, tools, insights, standards, data, measurement and benchmarking – and by building a community that can collectively accomplish what no individual or company can do alone.

2019 saw the roll-out of two dedicated events, the European roundtable on MMCF in July, part of Berlin Fashion Week (more information below), and the global MMCF Round Table Summit in Vancouver in October, part of Textile Exchange’s annual Textile Sustainability Conference.

Learn More about MMCF via our Learning Center or via our e-Learning Webinar Series.

2019 Round Table SUMMIT

The textiles industry is highly engaged on MMCFs. Over 160 brands have committed to more sustainable MMCF sourcing and 80% of fiber suppliers have agreed on policies for sustainable forest practices, according to the NGO Canopy. Nevertheless, decreasing negative sustainability impacts and eliminating risks deep down in the supply chains of this fast-growing fibers is still challenging.

In Vancouver, Textile Exchange’s Global Round Table Summit on MMCF brought together more than 150 stakeholders from NGOs/R&D/ Academia (22%), Supply Chain (21%), Brands and Retailers (35%) and others (21%).

  • When

    October 15, 2019

  • Where

    Vancouver, BC

Expert speakers from April, Birla Cellulose, Canopy, CV/Sateri, Earthworm, Fashion Positive, Forum for the Future, Gap Inc., Guess, IKEA, Lenzing, PEFC/SFI, Sappi DWP and ZDHC offered deep dives in:

  • What are social and environmental risks I have to know and tackle?
  • What makes forestry, pulp and fiber production more sustainable?
  • What are leading supply chains doing differently?
  • What are the market opportunities and innovations?
  • What can we expect in textile circularity and MMCFs?

At this year’s Round Table Summit, more emphasis was put on social considerations of feedstock sourcing. For example, how poverty is the main driver of deforestation and why we need to focus on local communities and economic development for smallholders.

Another focus next to protection of forests, safe chemical management and securing fiberto-garment traceability were fiber processing innovations and the need to find solutions which are commercially viable for the entire supply chain. Sharing of information more holistically and openness to collaborate to scale innovations – like the use of textile waste for the production of pulp – were seen as positive outcome of the Round Table for example.

Our live poll also included insights on how informed the audience sees themselves (50% partly informed or 14% not really informed) and if Textile Exchange should offer more comprehensive information and engagement (43.37% agree).

2019 sponsors

Huge thanks to Sateri and Collaboration for Sustainable Development of Viscose (both Pioneer level sponsors) and to Lenzing (Contributor level sponsor):

Thanks also to the 2019 conference sponsors supporting this Round Table:


July 4, 2019 | 1 pm – 4:30 pm | Kraftwerk Berlin, Germany

On July 4, 2019, Textile Exchange’s Simone Seisl hosted the European Roundtable on Manmade Cellulosic Fibers, which brought together all stakeholder groups to hear the latest news and learn from best-practice examples from forest management and processing of feedstock all the way to circular business models.

Access the meeting slide deck and agenda using the buttons to the right.

Download Slide Deck
See Full Agenda

Team work and collaboration are key in bringing initiatives like this to their full potential and we are always looking for partners for the MMCF Round Table. For details of how to support the work of our MMCF Round Table in 2019, please see page 9 of our 2019 Conference Participation Guide:

Download 2019 Conference Participation Guide

If you are interested in partnering one of this year’s Round Table meetings, please contact and we will be happy to send you some more information on the opportunities available.




On October 22, 2018, Textile Exchange bought together relevant stakeholder groups for the 2018 MMCF Round Table in Milan, Italy. A lot had happened since over 60 industry experts came together in 2017 in Washington DC for the first MMCF Round Table, and the 2018 session continued this momentum. The meeting was kindly sponsored by Sustainable Textile Solutions and Lenzing, and was hosted by Simone Seisl of Textile Exchange.

MMCF Landscape

Nicole Lambert, Textile Exchange

Nicole gave an overview of environmental, occupational health and social issues related to MMCF production, and the approaches that can be used to address these issues and lessen the impacts. She also presented on the MMCF landscape over the past 50 years, where we have seen a shift in focus from purely forestry malpractices in the late 1970s to chemical management issues in the past 10 years. The most recent initiatives were also introduced.

Supply Chain Transformation

Dr. Siva Pariti, Sustainable Textile Solutions

Transformation of manufacturing processes will take time and there might not be “one solution fits all”. One important issue to focus on is not just recovery rates -once the harmful substances are recovered in the process, what is done with them? The best would be to ensure that the large majority of recovered chemicals are re-used in the process.

Need for global norms for the industry.

Best Practice and Innovation in Viscose Sourcing

Claire Bergkamp, Stella McCartney

Case study of how Stella McCartney, as a leading brand, tackled their viscose sourcing to guarantee more sustainable practices in their supply chain. The company has entirely mapped their supply chain down to forest level and selected a limited number of suppliers for their best practices.

Forests for Fashion – Fashion for Forests

Birgit Altmann, UNECE/FAO

The UNECE-FAO work includes key players from both the forest and fashion worlds as well as bringing 10 UN organisations together to find solutions to the issues of sustainability. The fashion industry plays a pivotal role in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by ensuring sustainable consumption and production methods. The initiative shows that it is possible to maintain the natural capital of forests while using it sustainably.


WORKING SESSION #1 – forest and MMCF

Challenges related to forestry and better practises through for example certified forests and policies on virgin forest based feedstock for MMCF production by brands and suppliers – session hosted by Canopy and FSC.

WORKING SESSION #2 – innovation in processing, participation

Discussion around innovations that can lead to lessening the impact of MMCF production. Presentation of the Spinnova process as an alternative to conventional production. – Session hosted by Fashion for Good and Spinnova.

WORKING SESSION #3 – Chemicals and MMCF

Strong need for global guidelines for chemical management – waste water, air emission and waste management. Role out for ZDHC guidelines scheduled for mid-2019.

The entire viscose industry needs some time to catch up with best practices agreed upon.

Session hosted by ZDHC and Lenzing

WORKING SESSION #4 – Closing the loop on MMC, participation

Discussion around circularity of MMCFs – planetary boundaries require investing in this topic.

Session hosted by Stella McCartney


We asked our 100+ participants to share their 3 priority-areas with us.
The six categories and responses were:

  • Circularity & Recycling: 26
  • Industry Know-How & Supply network: 24
  • Alternative feedstocks & Innovation: 18
  • Low risk virgin feedstock: 12
  • Chemicals & Emissions: 10
  • Product integrity, labelling & comms: 7

Textile Exchange wants to thank again our 2018 MMCF Round Table sponsors Sustainable Textile Solutions and Lenzing, as well as all participants. We very much look forward to continuing these discussions.

Why a MMCF round table?

With Manmade Cellulosic Fibers (MMCF) being the second biggest cellulosic fiber group after cotton, and businesses, initiatives, NGOs and governments giving it ever greater attention, Textile Exchange sees a huge potential for more sustainable – or preferred – MMCFs to gain a higher market share.

MMCF such as Viscose/Rayon, Lyocell and Modal are the second most important group of cellulosic fibers after cotton, with an average demand of 5-6 million tons annually. MMCF, usually made of wood or bamboo, are produced mostly in Asia (over 80%), with the highest percentage produced in China (over 60%).

MMCF volumes are expected to increase rapidly in the next 15 years possibly reaching 10 million tons annually. There is huge potential for sustainable – or preferred – MMCF to gain a higher market share: according to the 2015 Report, the regenerated fiber segment is projected to account for the largest share within the eco fiber market by 2020. Growth is estimated at 5-6% per annum, ahead of synthetics at 4-5%, and cotton at 1-2%.

The management of resources and inputs as well as the efficiency and control of the manufacturing process can make MMCF products a preferred fiber choice. Recently there has been progress on recycling of cellulosics and blending as well.

A preferred MMCF is one that is sourced from producers and verified as low risk of being sourced from ancient and endangered forests, including certified feedstock or alternative feedstock, and one that is manufactured more sustainably. This means fewer toxic chemicals are used and/or the manufacturing technologies aim for high recovery rates where water and chemicals are re-gained.

Textile Exchange has selected preferred MMCF as a lead fiber, with our reports showing tremendous growth and our current e-learning series attracting several hundred industry stakeholders, with topics covering feedstocks, fiber manufacturing, transparency, certification, and industry engagement.

There is more to do to reach economies of scale. Challenges are still to be overcome in the forest, the factory, and the marketplace. This Round Table aims to transform business – move from linear to circular, and to find solutions to technical, societal, and commercial barriers to growth.

Quick Links

About organic cotton

Organic cotton is cotton that is produced and certified to organic agricultural standards.

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Preferred Fiber & Material Round Tables


2018 Market reports

The 2018 Preferred Fiber & Materials Market Report and the Organic Cotton Market Report are now available.

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Corporate Fiber & Materials Benchmark

The Corporate Fiber & Materials Benchmark helps companies measure, manage and integrate a preferred fiber & materials strategy.

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A framework for assessing the environmental, social & economic impacts of organic cotton agriculture.

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A selection of some of the key terms and abbreviations used in the industry.


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