Bamboo clothing is incredibly soft, and it is a sustainable and eco friendly fabric. However it is important to choose a brand that is transparent about their sourcing and manufacturing process and that uses bamboo rayon instead of bamboo cellulose.
Lavos utilizes natural bamboo fibre and a closed loop system to create their garments. Their fabrics keep you 3 degrees cooler in the summer and noticeably warmer in winter due to their thermoregulatory properties.
1. Environmentally friendly
On paper, bamboo looks like a sustainable textile: it grows fast, doesn’t need much water or fertilizer when farmed, and may sequester carbon. It’s also more environmentally friendly than cotton (which requires 2,700 litres of water to produce one t-shirt and needs pesticides) and polyester (which is fossil fuel based and uses high amounts of chemicals and energy).
However, many bamboo clothing brands use chemically intensive processes to make their fabric. The most common is rayon, which requires the use of toxic chemicals such as sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide. These are harmful to workers and the environment and have been linked to neurological disorders and respiratory problems respectively. Look for a brand that uses lyocell or closed-loop production methods instead of rayon. Also, ensure they are transparent about their sourcing and manufacturing process.
Despite its tough, woody exterior bamboo is actually soft to the touch. It’s a natural fibre that is woven into a wide variety of different fabrics, often mixed with cotton or merino wool to give it added stretch.
Unlike synthetic materials, which cause BO when moisture sits on the surface of the fabric, bamboo absorbs it and wicks it away. This means you won’t feel clammy or sweaty no matter what the weather is doing.
This also makes your clothes last longer. When you wash them less frequently they stay fresh and smelling great, which is better for your clothes and the environment. As a bonus, less washing also reduces the amount of microplastics released into our waterways and eaten by marine life. Read more here.
Bamboo is a natural and lightweight material that uses less energy to harvest than cotton, and requires fewer farming inputs like fertilizer and pesticides. It also has thermoregulatory properties that influence heat exchange, making it warmer in winter and cooler in summer compared to cotton.
This makes bamboo shirts the perfect choice for warm weather and active wear. It can even help fight body odor and moisture because of its naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
In addition, bamboo is chemical-free, which is good news for those with sensitive skin or who are prone to allergic reactions from certain fabrics. The softness of bamboo is due to its smooth, round fiber structure and pectin content, which means that when worn against the skin it feels as comfortable as your favorite broken-in old t-shirt.
The microscopic pores in bamboo fiber make it incredibly breathable, keeping you cool and dry. This reduces sweating and the need to wash your clothes, which helps them retain their shape for longer and minimizes waste.
Bamboo grows quickly without the need for chemicals like pesticides, and the plant is biodegradable, according to Green Eco Friend (opens in new tab). Sustainable brands like Tasc use this material for socks and underwear and t-shirts, as well as blankets and towels.
When buying bamboo clothing, look for the tag that says organic or natural cotton, and ask whether or not it’s mercerized. This ensures that the fabric has been processed minimally, reducing toxic chemicals. You can also try a brand that uses ethical bamboo viscose, such as Movesgood (opens in new tab). They use it for sweaters and tops.
5. Moisture wicking
Bamboo fabrics naturally absorb and evaporate moisture, keeping you cool and comfortable. The moisture wicking property is due to the bamboo plant growing in warm and humid climates so the fibers are able to move moisture away from your body faster than cotton.
Bamboo shirts have natural antibacterial properties which resist the growth of bacteria that cause odors. This means that you won’t have to use chemical-laden anti-microbial treatments on your clothing, and it will stay fresher longer so you can wash it less, saving energy and reducing the environmental footprint of your clothes.
Organic bamboo is also hypoallergenic, which means that people who have sensitive skin or are prone to allergic reactions to certain types of fabric or chemicals will be able to wear it. The best and most sustainable kind of bamboo is bamboo linen, which is processed mechanically instead of using a chemical process like rayon, which is more environmentally unfriendly.