Is Bamboo Really Eco-Friendly? The Devil’s In The Details
One of my very early posts on HeartSleeves was about bamboo as an eco-friendly textile. It was one of the first things I discovered when I started reading up on sustainable fashion, and it sounded really great. I even bought a few bamboo dresses which were super soft.
Then things started happening.
I met this lingerie designer who prefers other viscose materials to bamboo because the production processes are cleaner. Ok, I thought, that’s a good point, but how bad can bamboo really be? As I met more and more sustainable designers, I realized that fewer and fewer of them used any bamboo at all in their lines. Even the company I bought my dresses from now uses primarily Tencel, hemp, and cupro. Hmmmmm. Research time.
So here’s the skinny: bamboo as a plant is super sustainable. It’s the fastest-growing on the planet, requires very little water, grows organically with no pesticides required, and regenerates over and over. Bamboo the textile, though, is a different story. Continue reading →
Did you know? 15 – 20% of all fabric is thrown away from the cutting room floor
First, you take cotton scraps from the cutting room floor and sort them by color. Then, you grab some post-consumer plastic bottles. You melt everything down, combine it, and mulch it into a new, colored fiber that is a blend of recycled polyester and recycled cotton. Voila:
That’s the recipe for the textile that goes into Repair the World Apparel, a brand created by Mark Heiman in 2008. He and his partner Alan, who had met through various philanthropic ventures they participated in over the years, were both baby boomers looking to make a difference. Mark had years of experience in the textile industry, holding several patents for medical textiles, and Alan Continue reading →
According to the company eco-facts, the small size Sprout watch is 80% eco-friendly (by weight) and the large size is 86% eco-friendly. Materials include corn resin, bamboo, organic cotton, mother-of-pearl, conflict-free diamonds, Tyvek® (a high-density fiber which is strong, water and tear resistant and recyclable), fish leather, mineral crystals, and mercury-free batteries. Continue reading →
I did a post on eco-sexy lingerie a while back, and promised a few of my readers I would follow it up with one on eco-studly boxers.
Men: are you looking for soft and comfy boxers that are also good for the earth? Here are a few places to shop:
1. By Nature is a UK Eco Store (they ship to the US though, I checked) that sells bamboo and organic cotton boxers.
The ones pictured here are made from recycled white pine-tree pruning, which, according to the site, is as soft as silk with the feel of cashmere and the coolness of linen. It also regulates body temperature, is antibacterial, fast-drying and biodegradable.
You can get eco-briefs, boxers, and sport trunks at By Nature. Plus you know, other non-mens-underwear things. Continue reading →
Is it enough that fashion designers have the intention of being sustainable? Well, no. But does it make a difference? Is it a step in the right direction? Usually.
There are a lot of factors to consider when making clothing, and a lot of steps along the way for things to go wrong. Designers have to keep track of the environmental and human costs of their products from harvesting the cotton or producing the synthetic to manufacturing, shipping and retail. Inevitably, trade-offs must be made. Organic fabrics can still be sewn together by exploited workers Continue reading →