Highly sustainable, low maintenance, and more comfortable than cotton.
Bamboo textiles are fast becoming an 8Y8 favourite.
In the right conditions some species of bamboo have the potential to grow nearly three feet per day. Making it the fastest growing plant on Earth.
Bamboo vs cotton
Bamboo naturally grows very densely, much more so than cotton plants, or a forest of trees. Consequently the yield from a bamboo crop can often be around thirty times greater than that of a similar sized cotton field.
The high yield from bamboo means that a much smaller area of land can be used to achieve the same output as a larger cotton crop. Resulting in less natural habitats needing to be cleared for farming.
Bamboo plantations are also very low maintenance compared to all other tree and plant crops used for fibre production. With regular rainfall no additional irrigation is needed, generating large savings in energy and water consumption. Bamboo is flood and drought resistant and requires no pesticides, due to it’s natural antibacterial agent. In fact it can even improve some soil conditions where it’s planted by cleansing the soil of toxins and preventing soil erosion.
Bamboo’s density also means that it can return thirty five percent more oxygen to the atmosphere, and consume twenty four percent more carbon dioxide than the same area of young forest.
Sustainable low impact
Another major advantage is that bamboo can be harvested without uprooting or killing the plant, leaving the soil undisturbed. Bamboo regenerates naturally year after year from the roots, avoiding the constant cycle of replanting and fertilising.
All of this makes bamboo a highly sustainable source of natural fibre, providing that it’s processed in an ethical and environmentally friendly manner. Some companies negate the positive aspects of bamboo by using harmful chemicals in the processing stage, but rest assured that 8Y8’s bamboo apparel is produced under independent and reliable certification, thanks to the Oeko-Tex Standard, Soil Association, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), and the Fair Wear Foundation. During manufacturing all dyes are GOTS approved, using low water and controlled waste discharge processes, certified to Oeko-Tex 100 Class 1 standard and conforming to the EU’s REACH regulations.
As a finished material, bamboo can be stronger than cotton, while still maintaining a natural quality that feels much softer, closer to silk or cashmere. But with the advantage of being machine-washable. Using a mix of other fibres, such as organic cotton, is also common to improve printability and stability. Mixed fibre products are labeled accordingly.
Additionally, bamboo products are of course biodegradable. So when they eventually come to the end of their life cycle years later, like organic cotton, they can be returned to nourish the Earth, as it’s one hundred percent biodegradable. There are yet more benefits too, such as being hypoallergenic, absorbent, fast drying, and naturally antibacterial, so will not hold odour. What’s more, bamboo apparel is naturally thermo-regulating, keeping you warm in cold weather and cool in warm weather. Also, due to the softness of bamboo clothing it can be much more comfortable for people with sensitive skin than typical fabrics.