Bamboo is one of the world’s fastest growing evergreen perennial plants. The height of Bamboo can vary anywhere between a few centimetres to 40 metres tall. On an average, Bamboo poles grow approximately 24 inches or more per day. Bamboo grows best in tropical regions such as Asia, Africa, South America and requires lesser land, water and essentially zero chemicals for reproduction. Similar to wood, Bamboo is a natural compostable material.
A versatile product, Bamboo has infinite benefits and uses such for construction, furniture, musical instruments, kitchenware, weaponry and even textiles, which is our focus for today! Bamboo fabrics, made by combining bamboo pulp with water and amine oxide, are not only resilient, suitable for all skin types, and super soft, but they are also healthy for the natural environment.
However, there are some hard facts that counter the argument of Bamboo’s sustainability. At the moment, China is the major manufacturer of world’s bamboo. Although Bamboo naturally does not need any chemicals or pesticides to grow, the world is rapidly becoming untrusting of China’s business practices. Secondly, a significant amount of chemicals such as sodium hydroxide, sulfuric acid, and carbon disulfide are used to convert bamboo pulp into usable rayon bamboo & viscose bamboo fibre, taking away the element of being natural and organic. These fibres are then washed away into the water systems whose adverse effects trickle down to generations of surrounding biodiversity, flora-fauna and human population.
Considering the factors above and that 95% of the bamboo in the market is bamboo viscose, the ethical creation of bamboo fabric is of the utmost importance and a necessary innovation in the industry. Take it from a conscious consumer next time when you buy a bamboo product be sure to inquire about the use of chemicals in production, waste management and production process of bamboo tencel.
Some interesting brands selling sustainable Bamboo products: