Sustainability 101: Bamboo
There’s no two ways about it. Fashion has had detrimental effects on humanity – from exploited women workers to materials and practices that harm our planet. But it’s also an important form of expression and a tool for change (think of the Black Panther’s berets). We don’t want to get rid of it, we want to make it better. Welcome to our Sustainability 101 series, where we’ll be sharing our expertise on different fabrics, and sharing our own practises towards a better world.
Bamboo is a natural fabric with hypoallergenic properties. It feels buttery soft on skin, and is a strong fibre, meaning your clothes will stick around and be longer lasting. Our bamboo jumpsuits and shirts will keep their shape for years, and are easy to care for with no need for fabric softener due to their silky softness. Bamboo is also super absorbent and antimicrobial, keeping you cool and sweat patch free in any sticky situations. But there’s also some clever sustainable benefits to our favourite new fabric.
Bamboo is the fastest growing grass, and it can grow up to a metre a day, making it a brilliantly sustainable resource. Growing the plant also helps soil quality, prevents soil erosion, and is done totally free from pesticides. On top of that, bamboo can store 4 x times the amount of C02 than other trees its size, and produces 35% more oxygen. Sounds too good to be true, right?
The part to watch out for when sussing out the sustainability of bamboo is the processing. Like most bamboo, ours is treated in order to make bamboo viscose yarn. Our supplier uses a sustainable, closed loop system to ensure none of the chemicals used in this process are dumped into waterways, and the chemicals are instead fully recycled to make paper and soap. The yarns used in our clothing are certified by OEKO-TEX 100 as being free from harmful chemicals.
This makes our bamboo more sustainable than typical high street versions, which can still be harmful to people and the environment because of their chemical processing that ends up in rivers and drinking water. Some high street brands even use as little as 5% bamboo in their “bamboo” rayon clothing, with the rest being a slurry of chemicals. Not good. Our suppliers only use the highest quality, closed loop bamboo yarn, and are also working on getting their dyes certified, though assure us that they’re already safe.