Bamboo clothing is really gaining momentum in the fashion industry. In this article we discuss why bamboo is such a great choice for all kinds of clothing.
We review some of the top brands and explain why choosing clothes made from bamboo can be very practical as well a stylish.
The Reality of Non-biodegradable Clothing
There is a new wind blowing our way and it is focused on environmental sustainability that calls us to question how much of our daily lives are filled with things that are ecologically and environmentally unfriendly to the cause of sustainability.
Once evaluations and assessments begin at the household levels, it is fairly easy to identify the biggest issues that contribute to pollution and hazardous materials that decrease our efforts toward sustainability.
In January 2019, the UK House of Parliament published a repot, HC1148, ordered by the House of Commons entitled, Interim Report on the Sustainability of the Fashion Industry, which analyses and informs the public of UK policies and programs relating to the Fashion Industry’s efforts on sustainable fashion and apparel.
The summary of the report included:
“As part of our inquiry into the sustainability of the fashion industry, we heard evidence outlining the urgent need for the fashion industry to address its labour market and environmental sustainability issues.
In autumn 2018 we wrote to sixteen leading UK fashion retailers to ask what steps they are taking to reduce the environmental and social impact of the clothes and shoes they sell. We used data on market share published by Global Data in its industry report, The UK Clothing Market, 2018–2023 to identify the top ten fashion retailers.
We also asked four leading online retailers to answer similar questions following evidence at our first hearing about illegally low wages for garment workers and the disposability of some ‘fast fashion’ garments. Several of these retailers had been named in evidence linked to low pay in Leicester but the committee also used data on ‘share of voice’ compiled by Pi Datametrics. In addition, we wrote to two leading luxury UK fashion brands, Burberry and Kurt Geiger, following reports of stock burning by luxury brands.
We were impressed with the level of engagement by some retailers. Others expressed openness to engaging on these issues and have taken some small steps. A few retailers, unfortunately, do not seem to consider social and environmental responsibility as a priority. One, Kurt Geiger, did not reply at all.
We acknowledge that some retailers have not signed up to the specific initiatives which we have considered but are taking other measures to address these issues within their organisations.
We believe that there is scope for retailers to do much more to tackle labour market and environmental sustainability issues. We are disappointed that so few retailers are showing leadership through engagement with industry initiatives.”
The objectives of the UK report clearly outlines the scope of vigilance the UK government exerts over the issue of sustainability, responses from UK retailers and factual data statistics compiled.
It is worth reading the entire report to see advancements the UK has made toward sustainability within the fashion industry.
The report also focuses on the impact on the environment from production of non-biodegradable vs. sustainable clothing in the hope the general public will take sustainable fashion more seriously once they are well informed.
History shows a return to more sustainable living relies on the ability of individuals to use natural resources that are readily available materials for their daily needs.
One of these natural materials is bamboo.
Bamboo is replacing an enormous amount of plastics and other non-sustainable products that are harmful to the environment.
It is worth noting that the fashion industry is in a state of ecological evolution as a result of reconsideration of fabrics used to produce clothing.
One group, CanopyStyle, a subset of CanopyPlanet, has already begun programs that protect the world’s forests and natural resources from depletion. Ref: https://canopyplanet.org/
For example, non-sustainable fabrics like rayon and viscose have impacted wood depletion in world forests as reported by the Arcus Foundation.
The Arcus Foundation provides evaluations on sustainable fabrics so the public may have ready reference to these fabrics when choosing clothing.
How is Bamboo Clothing Better?
Bamboo is one of the fastest growing and most prolific of natural resources.
Bamboo is a reliable source for many products, including apparel.
Clothing made from bamboo is better because, as the UK HC1148 report states, the cost to produce bamboo has less of an impact on the environment and reduces the cost of labour to manufacture clothing from bamboo.
This makes bamboo clothing an ideal option for consideration for adult and children’s clothing.
From an ecological basis, bamboo is better because it requires no chemicals to grow it nor does it require massive volumes of water to produce bamboo crops.
For environmentally responsible individuals, it is 100 percent biodegradable and grants peace of mind to all concerned about sustainability for future generations.
Bamboo fibre is exceptional in the manufacture of textiles.
Not only is bamboo useful as a textile for the manufacture of clothing, but other household items like fabric duvet covers, kitchen, hand and bath towels and table and bed linens.
What Kinds of Clothes can be made from Bamboo?
When bamboo is manufactured for clothing fabrics and other textile use, the process is also sustainable.
The species of bamboos used to make clothing is Moso bamboo, a giant type of bamboo that grows prolifically in various parts of the world.
However, it is important to read all clothing labels.
Recently, some in the fashion retail industry have sold clothing labelled bamboo when it was a rayon/viscose which is not sustainable.
The woody strands of the bamboo plant are crushed.
Natural enzymes then break down the bamboo walls resulting in a slushy substance known as bamboo cellulose that is subsequently combed out.
This substance is spun into yarn that becomes fabric for clothing that includes:
- Bath robes
- Bathing suits
Bamboo is often mixed with a percentage of another natural fabric, cotton. Bamboo apparel is anti-bacterial and has a silky texture.
Because of its natural properties, it has a wicking feature that keeps perspiration away from the body.
Buyers of bamboo apparel find it is cooler in summer heat and warmer in cold temperatures in winter.
Sportswear made from bamboo is popular due to its light weight and has been proven to have an amazing protection from UV rays for those who are involved in outdoor sports.
Bamboo Clothes – The Stylish Option
Most buyers of bamboo apparel want to maintain their own personal style sense.
The question on most eco friendly individuals minds’ is the colour of bamboo fashion apparel.
Before bamboo is cut and dried it is green in colour.
Once it is turned into bamboo cellulose for textiles and fabrics, natural dyes are used to create more vivid colours of bamboo fabric than possible with synthetic dyes on non-sustainable fabrics.
Dyes used to colour bamboo apparel are colour fast and organic.
This is a return to the natural dyes used by ancient civilisations that are often found today in many archaeological artefacts with the same vivid colours intact.
So there is no worry about dyes running such as with synthetic red dyes that turn an entire load of laundry an unwanted pink hue.
The stylish option is an important factor in how individuals choose clothing they buy.
Bamboo apparel is created with today’s most popular styles in mind.
The newest addition selling in international fashion shows is bamboo shoes and boots in today’s most popular styles that promote bamboo clothing benefits.
Women’s bamboo clothing is as diverse in style as non-sustainable clothing.
For example, women’s bamboo apparel style options suit young women ages 15 to 30 in youthful skirts, tops, long sleeved and short sleeved shirts and slacks.
For sophisticated and business women, women’s bamboo apparel include jackets, dresses, slacks and tops are designed by top name fashion designers like Lara Miller and Linda Loudermilk, whose designs are flooding fashion shows and runways with dresses, handbags, sweater wraps and brightly coloured casual wear skirts and tops.
Men’s bamboo clothing includes button down dress shirts for business or evening wear, T-shirts, long sleeved pullover shirts, short sleeved golf style shirts, socks, slacks, bathrobes, underwear, jogging pants and shorts.
Bamboo Athletic and Sportswear
Men and women can enjoy the natural UV ray protection of bamboo clothing in bamboo running clothes like V-neck shirts and tops, jogging pants, bamboo track pants and running sneakers like Adidas newest Ultraboost running shoe.
For yoga enthusiasts, there are yoga clothing styles in pants in bootleg and slim leg widths with stretch waists for extra flexibility of movement.
Yoga clothing styles are comfortable and extra absorbent.
The Best Bamboo Clothing
The best bamboo clothing depends on your personal fashion sense and your lifestyle.
If you are a business person you’ll want to explore bamboo fashion brands that meet the need for a business style.
Best Bamboo Clothing Brands for Men
In men’s dress shirts, there are two very popular bamboo apparel brands that meet the business image:
Offers men’s bamboo fibre dress shirts in slim fit, long sleeve, casual, button down shirts that are wrinkle free.
These are available in long and short sleeve styles and in 13 different colours.
In 569 reviews, customers rated it 4.0 out of five stars.
This brand offers bamboo fibre mens dress shirts in Slim Fit Solid Casual Button Down styles in 15 colour options.
Customers rated it four out of five stars.
Best Bamboo Clothing Brands for Women
For women’s bamboo apparel brands, the Lara Miller Bamboo Women’s clothing collection is sold at major retailers like Nordstrom and JC Penney.
Note that women’s bamboo fashions are also available from retailers online.
For example, Tasc Peformance offers a Northstar Full Zip Semi Fitted Jacket in classic navy that has hidden thumb holes and side zipper pockets.
It features UPF 50+ protection and moisture wicking.
One customer rated it five stars, noting that she…
“loved the softness of the bamboo fabric.”
Spun Bamboo features thong style Spun Bamboo Women’s undergarments that is a bamboo/cotton blend.
Note that no dyes or bleach are used in the natural shade of these garments.
It is also available in black with flat stitching to make them less noticeable under other clothing.
It features natural bamboo moisture wicking and provides great ventilation.
Freefly offers men and women’s bamboo fashions such as the Women’s Bamboo Journey Dress in four colours or the Men’s Bamboo Crossover Hoody with long sleeves, a front pocket and thumb holes for extra warmth.
It is sold in five colours.
Accessorise with Bamboo
Novica sells several pieces of jewellery made from bamboo and ethically recycled wood and glass for women and a bone Tree of Life pendant for men that makes a great gift for special occasions.
Bamboo Boots and Shoes
Boots are a fashion style for formal or casual wear.
Amazon.com has a broad selection of boots from formal dress to bootie style.
Once you know all the features of natural bamboo textiles and benefits of clothing made from bamboo, buying bamboo fashions becomes part of your personal effort to contribute to environmental sustainability.
There is little noticeable difference in fashion styles of clothing made from bamboo and apparel made from non-sustainable fabrics.
However, the benefits such as UV ray protection, natural moisture absorbance and natural, colour fast dyes that offer a broad range of vivid colours, outweigh any reticence to moving to a wardrobe that brings greater peace of mind and the secure knowledge that future generations will have a safer, healthier environment.
Bamboo grows in abundance and costs far less for clothing manufacturers to produce formal, casual and intimate apparel.
For business owners, bamboo is a welcomed relief from the constant cost increases in non-sustainable textiles, as well as the high cost of labour to produce fabrics that are harmful to the environment.
It is also a relief to know buyers of bamboo apparel do not increase the volume of non-sustainable fabrics at landfills.
Bamboo fabrics are recyclable and can be composted since it is a wholly natural fabric.
In days to come, reports such as the Interim Report on the Sustainability of the Fashion Industry by the UK’s House of Commons, will awaken a new sense of environmental responsibility in retailers all over the world when reduced costs of raw materials, labour and production are attractive incentives.