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On the 8th of January, RGE and Asia Pacific Rayon (APR) participated in the launch of a sustainable viscose apparel collection, in partnership with the Singapore Fashion Council (SFC). The theme of the event was ‘Where Creativity Meets Sustainability’, and the launch was part of RGE’s strategic partnership with SFC.
Unveiled at Design Orchard, the event showcased sustainable fashion collections crafted by six Singapore-based designers, who used viscose to bring their creations to life. The event also served as a meaningful extension of RGE’s steadfast partnership with SFC to promote eco-consciousness in fashion, both in Singapore and across the broader region.
As part of an open call for designers to prioritise sustainability and responsibility in their creations, this initiative invited both established and emerging designers to develop a sustainable capsule collection. The challenge specifically encouraged the use of viscose, a biodegradable fibre derived from natural wood cellulose sourced from renewable plantations.
Viscose stands out in the crowded textile industry as a means to reduce the environmental impact of fashion. In his opening speech, the Global Head of Sales at APR, Sachin Malik, elaborated on the stark contrast between viscose and synthetic fibres like polyester and nylon, which can contribute to environmental challenges like non-biodegradability and microplastic pollution. Roughly 10% of global microplastic pollution comes from the use of such fibres in clothing.
In comparison, viscose’s wood-based cellulose origins and biodegradability make it an ideal eco-friendly alternative. Sachin stressed the need for collaboration in driving sustainability, with designers playing a pivotal role. “Designers are at the forefront of this movement. You can make the choices that balance aesthetics, customer preferences with the sustainability impact of fashion,” he said.
Being bio-based, viscose is fully biodegradable in soil, freshwater and marine environments within several weeks of exposure to such conditions. The event was more than a display of creativity; it was a testament to RGE’s commitment to preserving the planet, with each piece designed with an eco-friendly ethos. Sachin said, “We believe the foundation of sustainable fashion starts right from the materials we use.”
Blending viscose with fashion
The launch saw six visionary designers featured, including the brands Caeli Eco Luxe, Ikkikidz, PINKSALT, Salient Label, SABRINAGOH, and Junglesuit, showcasing a varied array of apparel, including dresses, kidswear and resort-wear. These designers embraced this opportunity to marry creativity and sustainability in their designs. They shared that their experiences with viscose have been transformative, marking a significant shift in their approach to fashion design.
“Viscose not only provides the comfort of natural fibres, but it also blends well with other fabrics,” Sachin said.
Belinda Lee, lead designer at PINKSALT, shared her thoughts on the brand’s sustainability journey. “Truthfully, we didn’t really start out with sustainability in mind. We were used to polyester fabric. We started to transition to sustainable fabrics after we realised how much wastage there is, especially with plastics and synthetic fabrics.” She highlighted how viscose allowed them to seamlessly merge both design and comfort.
“Rayon viscose is actually perfect for our brand. It’s very breathable – and I wear it all the time in Singapore’s weather,” she said.
Junglesuit co-founder Catherine Cheung highlighted the challenge small brands face in accessing sustainable materials and how the open call provided a unique opportunity to work with viscose fabrics. Mirroring Sachin’s thoughts, Lim Yi-Chin, designer at Salient Label, emphasised the role that designers play in making sustainable options available and attractive to consumers. “Designers truly are on the frontlines. It’s up to us to present these fabrics and educate customers on them,” she said.
RGE’s unwavering commitment to sustainability
This collaboration underscores RGE’s dedication to promoting sustainability in the fibre and fashion industries, with a focus on making sustainable fashion both forward-thinking and inspiring. “Bringing about a lasting change in the fashion industry demands cooperative efforts across its value chain components, encompassing materials, designers, manufacturers, and brands. As a fully integrated viscose-rayon fibre producer, APR takes pride in responsibly sourcing materials from renewable plantations and strives to foster positive impact and sustainable value throughout the industry,” said Sachin.