Say "No" to Bamboo (Viscose) and Rayon

Say "No" to Bamboo (Viscose) and Rayon

Have you ever wondered why we don't carry bamboo fabrics?  If you have, you are not alone.  I'm surprised that I didn't think to write this blog sooner since I get at least one email a month asking why we don't carry bamboo. 

Bamboo is considered a semi-synthetic product that comes from a natural source (kind of like plant-based plastics).  Bamboo requires immense amounts of water and chemical processing to become bamboo viscose. The primary chemical concerns are the use of Sodium Hydroxide (caustic soda), Sulfuric Acid, and, Carbon Disulfide.  Although there is a mechanical processing method that can be used to create bamboo fabric, it's rarely used because it is time consuming, expensive, and does not create the texture that most of us recognize as bamboo.  Mechanical process creates pulpy, rough fabric, ouch!  The most common method used for the type of fabric used in the sheets, pjs, baby clothing, and fabric you love comes from chemical processing.  

In addition to the concern of the toxic waste-water and it's effects in the nearing areas, human exposure to toxins is also a major issue of concern since people have to process the bamboo and are exposed to these nefarious substances.  In some instances people suffer from dermatitis allergic reactions, but in more grave cases people have suffered serious heart and brain damage.  To put it simply, the human and environmental cost of these fabrics do not make sense especially since the output fiber does not carry any special qualities that the original material may have possessed.

References and further reading:

https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/bamboo-fabrics

https://ecotero.com/how-eco-friendly-are-bamboo-fabrics/

https://theecohub.com/bamboo-viscose-eco-friendly-sustainable-fabric/

https://consumer.ftc.gov/consumer-alerts/2022/04/ftc-says-kohls-and-walmart-bamboozled-customers

https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/healthreport/the-health-burden-of-viscose-rayon/8286870

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2 comments

thank you for the extra links. it was helpful

mary s

Wow! I had no clue! I always thought that bamboo was very ecofriendly. I am in shock! Thank you for the extra resources to read more about why bamboo isnt what I thought it was!

Lucy Harriman

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