As you may know, the textile industry is one of the most problematic and unsustainable industries in the world. We could go into the myriad of ways the industry is adding stress to our planet, but frankly it’s depressing, and we enjoy focusing on the positive changes we can make much more.
When you’re on the hunt for sustainable clothing, bedding and other linens, bamboo lyocell is one of the best options around.
Here’s why we love it.
- Bamboo Lyocell (very different than bamboo rayon!) is a super sustainable textile that is both low-waste and low-impact. This special fabric was created by our friends over at Ettitude who realized that the traditional way of breaking down bamboo and making it into rayon was extremely toxic. The process to create the Bamboo Lyocell is the same as Tencel, however it uses bamboo instead of trees. The process uses a non-toxic solvent in a closed-loop system to break down the bamboo into pulp, and ultimately into yarn that is spun into fabric.
- Bamboo is a highly renewable resource and the fastest regenerating plant in the world, growing as quickly as 47.6 inches in a 24-hour period. Bamboo can be selectively harvested every year after 7 years – this compares to 30 to 50 years for trees. It also regenerates without needing to be replanted. This means bamboo has a much higher increase in biomass than trees, for example – 10-30% versus 2-5%, which means that bamboo can yield 20 times more timber than trees over the same area. Compared to cotton, which needs to be replanted every year, bamboo has a 10x yield per acre.
- Bamboo tolerates extremes of drought and drowning, produces 40% more oxygen than a hardwood forest on the same amount of land and plays an important role by maintaining the balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Because of its widespread root system and large canopy, bamboo greatly reduces rain run off, which helps to prevent soil erosion.
- Bamboo doesn’t require pesticides, fertilizers or irrigation to grow (it actually grows like a weed, anyone with bamboo in their yard can confirm this fact!) This gives it a big eco advantage over cotton, which requires the intensive use of pesticides & irrigation. It also uses ⅓ less water to grow than cotton, making it highly self-sufficient.
- It helps mitigate water pollution because of its high nitrogen consumption. For this reason, bamboo is a great solution for the uptake of wastewater from manufacturing, livestock farming and sewage treatment.
- It’s naturally antimicrobial and odour resistant, meaning it stays fresher longer and requires less washing than cotton. Most people find they only need to wash their bamboo sheets half as much as cotton sheets – less work for you and better for the environment as well!
So while no textile is perfect, we’re pretty sure bamboo lyocell is pretty close! We’re partnering with Ettitude to spread the word on bamboo lyocell and offering 15% off your first order with code DIRT15.