What is Bamboo? Bamboo is a grass which grows prolifically throughout East and Southeast Asia. It grows in tall, straight hard ‘stems’ which tend to be hollow. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world, with some species capable of growing 30cm in an hour! Traditionally bamboo has been used as a construction material, in furniture and flooring and it’s shoots and leaves as food and even medicine.
Its popularity continues today with bamboo being used in variety of new applications like bamboo clothing and in climate change mitigation strategies. Due to its prolific growth and density per square metre, bamboo plantations are a very effective carbon sequestration tool, absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. Bamboo’s ability to grow in limited space and in challenging conditions mean it can also help regenerate degraded, over-farmed land.
Bamboo is a hardy plant which doesn’t require irrigating, so it’s not as water intensive as other crops like cotton. Bamboo is also relatively disease and pest resistant, minimizing the use of pesticides in its production.
When bamboo is harvested and turned in to bamboo clothing, the bamboo is pulped and broken down using a chemical solution. It is then extruded into yarn ready for knitting into fabric. Due to the chemical treatment the bamboo undergoes, the ‘bamboo’ in bamboo clothing is more appropriately labelled as bamboo viscose.
Why bamboo clothing? Perhaps the most compelling reason is just how soft and gentle it is on your skin. As a fabric for clothing it is exceptionally smooth, with a silky texture that makes it suitable for even the most sensitive skin.
We use bamboo across our entire range of thermal base layers. We mix it with a little spandex for stretch and shape retention in our tops and we blend it with organic cotton in our leggings to give them a thicker, more opaque finish. We avoid the use of nylon and other synthetics to ensure our bamboo clothes stay naturally breathable and odour resistant.
Is bamboo clothing environmentally friendly?