Are Your Bamboo Clothes Just Fancy Rayon?

Are Your Bamboo Clothes Just Fancy Rayon?

Short Answer: No, they are probably just plain ol' rayon with a fancy name. 

Bamboo has gained a lot of recognition as a sustainable fiber because bamboo, at the core, is very sustainable. It is the fastest growing woody plant, technically categorized as a grass, in the world, and thus quickly replenished. Bamboo can grow up to a yard per day! The plant itself can absolutely be considered sustainable, but how it is processed cannot. So when should you speculate about those bamboo labels in your clothes? An easy give away is the fabric's hand, or feel. If the fabric feels a little stiff our rough to the touch, similar to hemp or linen, it is usually safe to say that it was processed mechanically. This means that the woody bamboo is crushed and natural enzymes are used to break it down until the natural fibers can be combed and spun into yarn. If bamboo fabric is not processed mechanically, it is processed chemically. Rayon is a cellulose fiber, most commonly made from wood pulp, but can also be made of paper, cotton, or bamboo. Though rayon is made from natural fibers the highly chemical process to break down those fibers puts it more in line with synthetics. While it is still possible to find eco-friendly bamboo with the luxuriously soft hand of a rayon-type fabric, I encourage you to do your homework before purchasing any bamboo garment. StriveGreen currently only supports bamboo fabrics from Yala Designs. The Bamboo Dreams line from Yala is made from organic bamboo and is Oeko Tex 100 certified, ensuring that the fibers are free from chemicals or harmful substances. The bamboo fabric is made with low impact Azo-free dyes in a closed loop system where materials are recycled to minimize waste. Read more about bamboo sustainability and production here!

Shop sustainable bamboo clothes and accessories from StriveGreen.

Photo Credit: Neil

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