Countdown to Earth Day: Day 3

Friday, April 3, 2009

Today's Countdown to Earth Day feature is more in depth. I've been wanting to talk a bit about bamboo clothing and I just haven't had a chance to sit down and type it out. Thankfully I woke up a couple hours early this morning and can blog before the guys are up.

First of all, what do you picture if I say the word bamboo? For me, it's a koala bear. Or if you're eco-chic, maybe bamboo rugs. Most people, unless they wear it often, do not instantly think of bamboo clothing.

My first introduction to bamboo as a textile was when my mom gave me some organic bamboo hand towels for the bathroom. They were so soft, softer than Egyptian cotton, and just felt more luxurious.

I wondered what the fuss was about. I started looking into bamboo and how it is harvested and its advantages over cotton and I learned a great deal.

First of all, bamboo is economical to produce. This is because bamboo grows much more quickly than cotton and it can grow in pretty much any type of environment, from the wettest soils to land that is drying up. It does not need much water in order to grow, so less water is consumed.

Pesticides in large amounts are often needed to treat other plants, but bamboo is unique because it produces something called kun. Kun keeps pests away. It's a bio-agent which  can keeps the plants healthy and gives the bamboo antibacterial properties.

After about 3 months when the bamboo is fully grown, pulp from the bamboo is made into the bamboo fabric. What makes bamboo so eco-friendly is the amount of water consumed in its production compared to cotton. Very little is needed, in fact. Something else unique to bamboo is the fact that it can be bleached without chlorine and other harsh chemicals in production, as well as dyed very easily and without dangerous chemicals.

I mentioned earlier about bamboo being naturally antibacterial because of the bambook kun. This makes bamboo an excellent choice for those with allergies when used in bed linens. It also makes this fabric ideal for odor and wetness protection in the warmer months--so it's a good choice in shirts and socks. 

Combine the luxurious softness of bamboo with the eco-factor and it's easy to see why bamboo is such a winning fabric.

I've found some wonderful businesses over on 1000 Markets and Etsy offering bamboo items.

Here are some of the stand outs. I just ordered the first one  because it is so me!!!


I see this in my future! Lovely tunic from Topsy Curvy Designs, $58


Emerald green dress with pop of fuchsia from Econica, $95



Cream and black top, also from Econica, $75



I *love* these made to order pjs from Sandmaiden, $99



Cream dress from The Pila Shoppe, $155

Bamboo dress, also from The Pila Shoppe, $145



Bamboo knit baby sweater looks so snuggly! From One Girl Circus, $35



Chic in classic black & white: bamboo burp cloth from Boopalina + Bebe, $7.50



Bamboo tunic from Rainbow Swirlz, $25



Bamboo tees  from Revival Ink, $30 ea.







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