eco dye, bamboo, bamboo viscose, organic, fashion, eco, eco fashion
Day 89 / 365

Bamboo is one of the most sustainable sources of wood that the world has to offer, as it is one of the fastest growing plant in the world (24 inches in 24hrs!) which enables frequent and sustainable harvesting without causing damage to the ecosystem of bamboo forests. It grows abundantly, without pesticides and is watered naturally by mountain rain. It produces more oxygen and absorbs more carbon dioxide than trees, combating global warming with each bamboo shoot planted. Because it is from the earth it can return to the earth and adds benefits rather than harms when it does.

The only problem with it is it when it is turned into fabric. Which is heavily disappointing as it has the potential to be such a sustainable sweetheart.

Here’s why:

Bamboo is made up of hard fibers which are super stiff, which creates a pretty stiff fabric like linen or hemp. For reasons unbenownced to me, most bamboo you find is a bamboo viscose, and the process of making this fabric is what makes (most) bamboo fabric less eco friendly than its counterparts.

Bamboo viscose is basically rayon, which is a manufactured fabric and therefore can’t return to the earth. It is created by converting a raw material through a chemical process which turns the natural materials into a synthetic. Meaning it can no longer biodegrade, and is processed using chemical which are harmful to the environment.

The chemical used to dissolve the fiber is a carbon disulfide which is known to cause harm to human reproductive organs, putting you, and even more than you, the factory workers in danger and polluting the air and wastewater, converting it to hazardous waste.

Though it is a dark grey area fabric, it is better for the planet (in my opinion) than conventional cotton or any pesticide grown fabric as they basically have the same negative effects on the planet, though the bamboo crop requires less water and zero pesticides to grow.

Someone like Sencha & Bourbon (Please note I'm a bit biased when it comes to this brand as it is one of the most hard working Eco brands I know, with a designer who is the trailblazer here in Paris in terms of eco living, owning the ONLY eco fashion boutique, La Manufacture Onirique) who naturally dyes her bamboo viscose scarves (and wool, organic cotton ect..) offsets some of the further pains that could be caused by conventional use of the fabric (greenwashers who dye their bamboo viscose with chemical dyes, further polluting the world) by naturally spice and fruit dying her collection, and as she purchases organic bamboo material for her beautiful creations, she is just about the only bamboo brand I’d be comfortable heroing. Her scarves, pictured in this post, are lovingly handmade and are personalized with your initials upon purchase.

Her scarves, though made of bamboo viscose, are kinder to people and the planet than any thing you’ll find on the high street or in the mall, so in terms of lesser evils, her creations do more good than fast fashion ten fold. 

Vintage Sweater (pink)
Second Hand Sweater I Swapped With A Friend (black)
Second Hand Jeans (ebay)

eco dye, bamboo, bamboo viscose, organic, fashion, eco, eco fashion

sources: Treehugger, Patagonia 
photos: Paola Fleming