A New Reason to choose Bamboo fibers

 

A new reason to choose bamboo

There’s always a story about the latest thing we shouldn’t eat or product not to use. But as conscious consumers, we can’t help but want to make the best choices. Now that microbeads (found in our toothpaste and beauty products) have been listed as a toxic substance (and already banned in the US), they’ve found an even more pervasive problem— fibers shedding from synthetic clothing. These microfibers get released in the clothes washer and make their way into our oceans. Washing just one synthetic fleece garment can release approximately 1.7 grams of microfibers with each wash. So choosing organic, sustainable and biodegradable fibers may be even more important than previously thought.

New studies indicate that synthetics like polyester could be poisoning our lakes and oceans and therefore our food supply on a massive scale. Synthetic fibers have been found in the gastrointestinal tracts of fish! These tiny threads shed from fabrics could ultimately be of huge concern as they enter the food chain and have the potential to accumulate in the bodies of larger mammals. We, at the top of the food chain, are, of course, eating these fibers when we consume the fish.

Tiny fibers emitted from synthetic clothing when washed are entering our oceans and waterways at an alarming rate

Tiny fibers emitted from synthetic clothing when washed are entering our oceans and waterways at an alarming rate. Photo: Shreya Sonor, Bren School of Environment Science and Management at USCB

While this is a problem without an easy solution, if you’re already a consumer of natural fibers, you’re obviously doing the right thing. Aside from the many other obvious advantages of bamboo, it’s 100% biodegradable. So once it’s no longer wearable, in as little as a year, it will have decomposed back into the soil or ocean without the production of any pollutants.

While very few fabrics and methods of dying fabrics can get a 100% clean bill of health, bamboo has many impressive ecological credentials. The nature of bamboo as a plant is fast growing and requires no pesticides or additional fertilisers. Another key benefit of bamboo is that it requires one-third of the amount of water required to grow cotton. One of the other benefits is that, in comparison to an equivalent area of trees, bamboo takes in five times as much carbon dioxide and releases 35% more oxygen. One of the drawbacks of bamboo processing has been the chemicals used, but new mechanical methods of processing have been devised in where the crushed bamboo is treated with biological enzymes. This breaks the bamboo into a mushy mass and individual fibers are then combed out. Although expensive, this process is eco-friendly.

While not the ultimate solution, every step helps. We’re suggesting that you keep choosing the most natural products possible for inside and outside your body

Diane Kennedy, eco-fashion, plus size clothing, made in canada,