US chemical and fibre producer Eastman has launched Naia, a new cellulosic fibre made from wood pulp derived only from sustainably managed forestry which the company is looking to promote in the womenswear market. Naia, the company says, is produced in a “near-closed-loop process,” has a third party reviewed Life Cycle Assessment compliant with ISO14044, is additionally included on the Higg MSI (Materials Sustainability Index), is manufactured without any chemicals listed on the ZDHC MRSL, and production doesn’t involve any substances that would require warnings as per California’s Prop 65.

Regarding the firm’s responsible approach to forestry management, Eastman’s Naia fibre has been awarded FSC and PEFC Chain of Custody certification. The cellulosic fibre is also certified as ‘biobased’ under the USDA BioPreferred program, a categorisation which Eastman claims sets it apart from generic viscose, polyester, and nylon.

Naia was on show for the first time in the Smart Square at September’s Premiere Vision, with the company highlighting, in addition to its sustainability credentials, the material’s breathability and moisture management. Further raising the profile of Naia in fashion circles, Eastman is set to be the gold sponsor of the Redress Design Competition 2019, meaning that emerging designers and students will be using Naia-based waste fabrics in the womenswear category of the event.

These waste fabrics will be derived from Naia fabric samples, finished product samples, end-of-rolls, swatches and damaged fabrics. The finalists will then incorporate Naia-based fabrics into runway collections for the show’s Grand Final fashion at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in September 2019.