What is Bamboo? Bamboo is a grass which grows prolifically throughout East and Southeast Asia. It grows in tall, straight hard ‘stems’ which tend to be hollow. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world, with some species capable of growing 30cm in an hour! Traditionally bamboo has been used as a construction material, in furniture and flooring and it’s shoots and leaves as food and even medicine.
Its popularity continues today with bamboo being used in variety of new applications like bamboo clothing and in climate change mitigation strategies. Due to its prolific growth and density per square metre, bamboo plantations are a very effective carbon sequestration tool, absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. Bamboo’s ability to grow in limited space and in challenging conditions mean it can also help regenerate degraded, over-farmed land.
Bamboo is a hardy plant which doesn’t require irrigating, so it’s not as water intensive as other crops like cotton. Bamboo is also relatively disease and pest resistant, minimizing the use of pesticides in its production.
When bamboo is harvested and turned in to bamboo clothing, the bamboo is pulped and broken down using a chemical solution. It is then extruded into yarn ready for knitting into fabric. Due to the chemical treatment the bamboo undergoes, the ‘bamboo’ in bamboo clothing is more appropriately labelled as bamboo viscose.
Why bamboo clothing? Perhaps the most compelling reason is just how soft and gentle it is on your skin. As a fabric for clothing it is exceptionally smooth, with a silky texture that makes it suitable for even the most sensitive skin.
We use bamboo across our entire range of thermal base layers. We mix it with a little spandex for stretch and shape retention in our tops and we blend it with organic cotton in our leggings to give them a thicker, more opaque finish. We avoid the use of nylon and other synthetics to ensure our bamboo clothes stay naturally breathable and odour resistant.
Wash Less Four way stretch keeps our tops and leggings staying in shape after each wear and bamboo’s natural ability to resist odour build up means you can test the limits of multiple wears before sending it to the wash
Smell Better Bamboo is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal helping to keep you fresh all day
Keep Warm Our fitted cut, with generous length in the arms and body helps you trap, retain and generate body heat, creating an insulating base layer.
Not Too Warm Breathable, moisture wicking bamboo fabric prevents overheating by drawing moisture away from the skin helping to regulate your temperature
Itch Free Smooth long fibres make bamboo fabric exceptionally soft. It’s an ideal choice for eczema sufferers and those who find the skin prickles or itches with more abrasive fabrics.
Look Good Though they may be hidden, looks still matter ;) Simple stitching around the neckline and a subtle, naturally occurring sheen makes bamboo thermals smart enough to be worn on their own!
Feel Good An eco-friendly choice. Bamboo is a self-regenerating crop, meaning it regrows after harvesting and unlike many other water intensive crops, grows without the need for irrigation. Bamboo thrives without the use of pesticides or chemicals which is important for avoiding soil contamination. Bamboo plantations are also a significant source of oxygen production, while absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere.
Is bamboo clothing environmentally friendly?
Bamboo is an environmentally friendly crop due to its ability to grow without the use of pesticides, with very low water consumption and carbon absorbing abilities. The use of chemicals to treat the pulped bamboo is an unfortunate but necessary process needed to turn the pulped fibres into fabric. O2wear bamboo clothing is Okeo-tex 100 certified which verifies that there are no nasties remaining in the fabric of our bamboo clothing.
However we believe that the fabric choices are just one, albeit important, part in growing a sustainable and environmentally aware business. There is no one right way or perfect choice so we aim to mitigate and reduce, choosing what we feel is the best option available for the job. For our range of base layer clothing we felt that the choice was easy, bamboo ticked so many of the boxes. But equally important to us are the materials we use in packaging, transport and delivery. In these areas we’ve eliminated single-use plastics, opted for recycled cardboard packaging and use bio-degradable satchels wherever possible. When it comes to the design of our range, we choose to produce classic cuts and timeless styles that will be worn until the end of their useful life, rather than discarded when fashion trends change.
We believe that buying less, choosing well and making it last is the most environmental choice you can make.