Many organic clothing manufacturers prefer raw bamboo material. Bamboo fiber has unique properties that contribute to finished, high-quality textiles. The production method still needs development, however, to support the “green” claim. News media has had a field day highlighting the horror stories from some processing plants.
As time passes, more bamboo clothing manufacturers appear. Bamboo has become the new favorite raw material for green movement followers, and for a good reason. The plant species has many environmental advantages.
6 Reasons Why Organic Bamboo Clothing is More Sustainable
1. Air Filtering
Like most plants, bamboo provides clean air to breathe and consumes ample carbon dioxide. They have a higher carbon dioxide absorption rate, however, compared to most trees in forests. Some plants sequester up to twelve loads of dioxide from the air per area unit. The dense bamboo forests also regrow quickly. This means a bamboo plantation can clean the air easily and over long periods of time.
2. Less Energy and Water to Grow
Bamboo plantations need little or no maintenance, in terms of fertilizer or tilling the soil. The root system holds the soil together and prevents erosion as well as water loss. Bamboo conjointly needs little or no water and can survive drought conditions. As climate change increases, we need flexible crops.
3. Reclaiming Land
Bamboo is a rhizome. That means it has underground structures of plant growth that connect separate shoots. Because of its rapid growth and root structure, bamboo can reclaim overgrazed and over-farmed land by filling it with nutrients. The rhizomes can also clean the soil of poisons.
4. No Need for Pesticides
Bamboo is fully grown without pesticides, fertilizer or other chemicals. The plants generate a unique anti-bacterial agent called bamboo-kun that can resist pathogens. Clothing manufacturers are interested in preserving the agent in the processed fabric.
5. Sustainable Harvest
Bamboo is one amongst the quickest growing plants on the world, creating a high-yield natural resource. When a farmer cuts down a bamboo, a new shoot grows immediately thanks to the rhizome system. The lack of soil erosion means the land maintains its nutrients for future crops. You can harvest annual and witness regeneration within a year. Most trees, in contrast, take decades to reach full height and do not replace easily because of the slower growth rate.
6. Biodegradable Waste
Due to its natural qualities, bamboo breaks down easily after use. People can let it degrade naturally, or convert into compost. This reduces landfill use, compared to most synthetic fabrics.
Other Bamboo Clothing Benefits
In addition to its ecological advantages, bamboo fabric also had facets that improve clothing quality. Manufacturers blend bamboo with cotton to add structure to clothes, and a swishy feel to sheets and pillowcases. The tactile benefits can assist consumers in loving the product. These benefits include the following:
1. Natural Softness
Bamboo attire is softer than cotton. It can compete with silk or cashmere at a fraction of the cost. People can rest more easily with bamboo sheets, and take pride in the sturdiness. They also demonstrate flexibility; organic bamboo cotton blends are also extraordinarily soft however heavier in weight.
2. Hypoallergenic For Sensitive Skin
Some fabrics can irritate the skin, especially synthetic blends that rub against your arms and legs. Bamboo does not rub. It just presses against your skin and lies still. This can reduce irritating rashes, especially for infants.
3. Thermal Regulation
A cross-sectional of bamboo fiber reveals varied micro-holes. Due to its micro holes, the porous fabric entraps air, warm or cold. This quality helps for the summer and winter when you need to beat a heat wave or a blizzard.
4. Breathable Fabric
In addition to catching the winds, micro-holes soak up and evaporate moisture speedily. As a result, bamboo is four times more absorbent than cotton is. The porous qualities of bamboo fiber account for its breathability.
5. Anti-Bacterial Properties
Bamboo-kun forestalls microorganisms from cultivating on human skin. The property suggests that bamboo-kun helps keep the fabric and its wearer odor-free. Bamboo can thus make viable, breathable activewear and athletic clothing, that can sustain long workouts.
Bamboo Textile Manufacturing and Processing
Bamboo takes a lot of processing to go from woody stems to flat fabric. One has to refine the raw pulp to get to the cellulose fiber. Many clothing manufacturers use completely different producing processes for these steps. These processes have variable environmental prices and externalities. Mechanical ways that crush the bamboo into pulp are the least harmful but the most expensive. More often, chemical processes are used, which involve using carbon disulfide. These chemicals can threaten workers’ health at processing plants.
Is Bamboo Clothing Organic or Dangerous?
Because of the mentioned reasons above, many clothing brands prefer to offer at least one bamboo line. Corporations promote their “natural” product as safe or environmentally-friendly.
Regarding bamboo, however, the media provides conflicting reports on its eco-friendly qualities. You the consumer have to study the truth of corporations’ claims. Many will exaggerate to sell a product and find loopholes in misleading advertising copy.
Currently, we have no organic certification for bamboo processing. Bamboo can grow naturally, like an invasive plant, and doesn’t need chemicals to grow or survive. This guarantee, however, does not mean bamboo can evade certification. Consumers need to know that the bamboo wasn’t cut from naturally growing forests, a legitimate concern. They also need to verify no chemical use or contamination from pollutants.
Added to a certification issue, production methods of bamboo clothing have problems, as we have outlined. The mechanical method involves crushing the woody components of the bamboo plant to create raw pulp. Then they can press the pulp into fibers and spin them into the fabric. This method is eco-friendly but costlier than chemical processing. With no organic certification accessible, several makers do not feel the need to implement the mechanical method.
The chemical process is less expensive. On one hand, we don’t want clothing that costs too much, especially since it creates class barriers to affordable, eco-friendly clothing. On the other hand, the chemical process uses carbon disulfide to make bamboo rayon. This creates a huge work hazard. Thirty percent of American workers have reported severe reactions to work with rayon and carbon disulfide. These reactions can include psychosis, blindness, liver damage and heart attacks. Obviously, an “eco-friendly” product that harms workers doesn’t sound very friendly.
You want to get environmentally-safe bamboo clothing from a qualified and certified organic manufacturer. Say you want to get nontoxic onesies for a baby shower gift. Study the manufacturer’s bamboo producing method and verify if it’s mechanical or chemical. Otherwise, you should wait until governments can implement proper bamboo certification.
If you are interested in bamboo clothing issues or looking for a bamboo clothing manufacturer, contact Organic Apparel USA. Let us help you with bamboo clothing issues.