Bamboo fabric is the latest fiber touted for eco clothing. Here are some questions you may have.
- First, are textiles made from this renewable resource as environmentally ethical as their reputation?
- Second, are all bamboo textiles organic?
- Third, is the material scratchy?
- Last, is there any fashionable clothing for our age group made of this fiber?
Bamboo Fabric Lives Up to Its Organic Products Reputation
Bamboo fabric gets rave reviews.
E/The Environmental Magazine calls it “eco-chic,” that is, “Softer than cotton and with a texture more akin to silk or cashmere, bamboo clothes naturally draw moisture away from the skin, so it’s great for hot weather or for sweaty workouts. It also dries in about half the time as cotton clothing” (Dec. 22, 2008).
The London Mail praises the green clothing fiber as soft, absorbent, durable, and lightweight (Apr. 27, 2008).
Bamboo fabric is warm enough for fleece hoodies. Bamboo is soft enough for bathrobes and house slippers. All are machine washable.
Mechanical Versus Chemical Processing Changes Environmental Impact
Bamboo is enthusiastically embraced as a renewable resource for organic products, such as flooring and furniture.
Eva Kokopeli explains that “bamboo’s root system actually stabilizes the proximate dirt, preventing erosion” (The Wave magazine online).
Farmers don’t have to replant this self-propagating species. It can be grown without the heavy applications of chemicals required by cotton textiles.
Does Chemical Processing Rule Out Bamboo As Eco Clothing?
Evaluating the environmental impact of processing bamboo fiber into fabric may be challenging.
E/The Environmental Magazine notes that harsh chemicals are needed for hydrolysis-alkalization and bleaching.
The Earth Talk column adds, “The Green Guide counters, though, that bamboo still has a much lower environmental impact than pesticide-laden conventional cotton and petroleum-derived nylon and polyester fabrics.”
Not All Bamboo Clothing Uses Organically Processed Fiber
Dreamsacks says its bamboo pajamas are pesticide-free and made from a sustainable and renewable resource. The Asian-inspired set may be casually worn outside the home.
The bamboo material is hypoallergenic, allowing for better breathability, which will make you feel even more comfortable. Bamboo is sustainable, environmentally friendly, and easy to care for.
Anna Mae McKinney, taking up the cause for organic products, writes that crushing the stalks and using natural enzymes is an environmentally sensitive alternative to chemical processing.
She explains this reduces “the bamboo walls into a slushy mass so that the natural fibers can be mechanically combed out and spun into yarn” (Sherbrooke, Quebec Record, Oct. 15, 2007, p. 11).
Ex Officio Is Leader in Cutting Edge Fabrics
Ex Officio has a Travelers Shoe that makes smart use of soft, absorbent bamboo fiber for the shoe’s lining. Ex Officio is a trendsetting retailer for sports and outdoor wear with soy fabric and togs that are insect-repellant, too.
Shop SoftSurroundings.com offers organic products such as hoodies and slacks woven of stretch bamboo fiber rayon, as well as sheets and towels that use this remarkable green product.
Team your super-soft bamboo top with a denim jacket and jeans for a classic casual outfit with contrasting textures.