Visions of smoothie bowls and yoga retreats are conjured when I see the term “bamboo” listed as the fabric content on an item of clothing, but what exactly makes it good for the environment? I have some idea based on the textiles class I took in college, but decided to refresh my memory when The Great Beyond, an Australian brand who specializes in stylish, bamboo clothing, reached out to me for a review.
Here’s what I found:
- Bamboo does not require heavy pesticides or fertilizers to grow (unlike cotton).
- It requires little water to grow (also unlike cotton).
- It is a rapidly, renewable resource, meaning it grows very quickly. Sometimes four feet in a day.
- Growing bamboo improves the soil quality through its extensive root system, preventing erosion.
- The all-natural fabric content makes a bamboo piece of clothing biodegradable. Throw it into the compost bin when you’re done!
- The production of bamboo into fabric requires a harsh chemical solvent.
Basically, using bamboo as a resource in itself is highly environmentally friendly. You are avoiding toxic chemicals, saving water, using a plentiful resource, helping soil erosion, and warding off landfills when you buy bamboo products that aren’t clothing. However, the process to convert the tough plant into a soft fiber does include the use of some harsh chemicals that can pollute the environment.
That’s one of the reasons The Great Beyond uses a closed loop system to manufacture its fabric, meaning the chemicals used to create it are recycled rather than released into nature. They have also been tested for harmful substances and are OEKO-TEX certified. The truth about bamboo is that it is a much more eco-friendly fabric to use than conventional cotton or anything synthetic, but be sure to buy it from companies with sustainable production methods, like The Great Beyond.
I wore the Bianca dress as a top on a warm day and the fabric felt really soft and breathable on my skin. I personally think that bamboo fabric is one of the most comfortable fabrics there is. The Great Beyond carries a wide range of classic tops, bottoms and dresses that look perfect for lounging in style. Do you own anything made from bamboo?
An item in this post was gifted, but all reviews and opinions are my own.
Photos by @sdrpick.