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Bamboo Clothing: Everything you need to know in 2021

Updated: May 19, 2021

Sustainability is now more critical than ever, but can bamboo replace cotton?


Reduce, reuse, recycle. These three words we heard growing up are not just guidelines anymore. Our planet needs help, and in every job sector, there is a movement for more environmentally friendly solutions, from fast food, cosmetics and yes, even clothing. But you might ask yourself,


“Houndstooth, why would clothes need to be more environmentally friendly? Most clothes are made out of cotton. That’s already a plant.”


We would say that not all plants are equal (sorry cotton, we love you, but we found something better). But what is bamboo clothing? Most of us see bamboo as those large stick-like objects that look like large straws. Can we make clothing out of it?


Here are some of the most searched questions online when it comes to bamboo clothes


Q: What is Bamboo?

A bamboo forest
Bamboo can grow up to 98 feet tall! Talk about some big grass

A: Most people think bamboo is a tree or plant, but both answers would be incorrect. Bamboo is actually a grass, and it is a speedy grower, the fastest growing plant on earth, to be precise. With how fast it grows, more bamboo can be harvested for material uses than cotton can in shorter amounts of time. Some bamboo can grow up to one meter per day!


Q: What Does Bamboo Clothing Feel Like?

Different coloured clothing materials
Not only can bamboo make great clothes, they make great alternatives to plastic too

A: When you think of bamboo, you might think rough and tough, but when it gets turned into fibres, it is anything but. Bamboo has the feel of high-quality soft silk or cotton. Its thread is naturally smooth, and it doesn’t have any rough edges in the fibres that can irritate the skin. When your friends ask you where you got such smooth and soft clothes, just say it’s made from grass.


Q: Where Does Bamboo Come From?

The Great Wall of China during a sunrise
Although bamboo can be grown anywhere, most of the bamboo used as materials comes from China

A: Unlike cotton, which needs specific climates to grow in, bamboo can be grown almost anywhere in the world. It can be found in South American, South Africa, Japan, East Asia and many more places. There are also over 900 species of bamboo all across the world.


Q: Is Bamboo Clothing Better For The Environment?

A tree in a broken glass ball
Every chance we get to help the environment is a win!

A: Yes! Bamboo uses much less water to grow than cotton does, so bamboo farmers don’t have to worry about if there is a drought when they are growing it. Bamboo also doesn’t have very many insects that feed on it, so it needs little to no pesticides when it is growing. Just like we mentioned above, since bamboo can be grown anywhere, the environment around the bamboo doesn't have to be changed.



Q: Bamboo Vs Cotton Clothes: Are There Any Differences?

A: There are many benefits to wearing bamboo clothes compared to our familiar cotton friend. Bamboo is naturally UV resistant, which means it can protect against the sun better than cotton products can. Bamboo also has much thicker and stronger fibres in it, making it much more durable from casual wear and tear.

If you thought thicker fibres equal it’s going to be less breathable, sit down and let us tell you that you get the best of both worlds. Bamboo is very breathable, and it absorbs liquid, like sweat, much better than cotton does. Thought it couldn’t get any better? Well, bamboo has natural antimicrobial properties, which means if you ran out of deodorant that day, you wouldn’t smell as bad (but we still recommend you buy some right away, bamboo doesn’t work miracles). Check out some more comparisons from our source here.


Q: Will Bamboo Clothes Last Longer?

A Panda bear eating bamboo
Not only is bamboo tough, it's a tasty treat for pandas

A: With all of the consistent washing and drying you do with clothes, bamboo will stand the test of your machines. You can use cold water when washing bamboo clothes, and there isn’t a need for a fabric softener. For all of you who dislike folding clothes, bamboo doesn’t wrinkle, so gone are those days where you decide not to wear a shirt because you would have to break out the iron.



Q: Are There Any Downsides To Using Bamboo?


Oeko-Tex Tag
Look for this tag or symbol on bamboo products you buy

A: Not many, but we want to make sure all of our amazing clients are informed. Bamboo clothing is more expensive because it isn’t as widespread as cotton products are. Still, it is pretty in line with the cost of high-quality organic cotton (cotton grown without pesticides). The other downside of bamboo is the dyeing process. Many harmful chemicals, including bleach, are used for many bamboo products, which can cause some health problems. But Don’t worry! Houndstooth only uses products that are Oeko-Tex certified. You can check out the lowdown on what that means here, but the short version is that all of our clothes have been tested for harmful substances that might have been used in the manufacturing process.


We hope you learned a little bit today about the world of bamboo. Bamboo isn’t just for the pandas anymore (but of course, we don’t mind sharing with them). Houndstooth prides itself using green products in all of its materials, from clothing to print material and even our animal garments. You can shop all of our designs here and if you are interested in creating your own designs, click here. Bulk ordering is also available, and we are always open to making new incredible partnerships.


Sources:

· Bamboo VS. Cotton: An Environmental Comparison

· Benefits of Organic Cotton Vs Bamboo Fabric

· Buy Smart When Going Green

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