As the demand for sustainable clothing increases, there is a dizzying array of fiber options to choose from: modal (eucalyptus), tencel (birch), organic cotton, recycled polyester, hemp, flax, bamboo and more in the making.
With the intention of producing garments that have the gentlest impact on the planet as possible, we have considered all of these fibers and experimented with several of them. And for sixteen years now, we continuously choose bamboo as our primary fabric for reasons that are largely exclusive to this single, prolific plant.
Location: Our bamboo is sourced in the Shunan Bamboo Forest of China, also known as the Bamboo Sea, where Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon was filmed! Ok that’s more of a fun fact than a reason for using it, but pretty cool, right?!
Water Preservation: The Shunan Bamboo Forest receives enough natural precipitation to grow bamboo without any additional irrigation. That’s right—zero water resources are diverted to the cultivation of our bamboo, beyond what Mother Nature provides in rainfall. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
Renewable Resource: Bamboo is the fastest growing woody plant on earth, growing so rapidly and abundantly that it needs thinning every 2-5 years to prevent die-off from overcrowding!
Organically Grown: Because bamboo is so hearty, it doesn’t require any agricultural chemicals or pesticides to thrive. Therefore, it does not leave any of the chemicals behind in the soil that conventional cotton production does.
Air Quality: In addition, bamboo absorbs carbon dioxide and produces 35% more oxygen than an equivalent stand of hardwood trees.
Soil Protection: Bamboo roots remain in place after harvesting, where they prevent soil erosion and maintain nutrients like nitrogen in the ground for continued growth.
Economic Development: To maintain the integrity of the forest and its ecosystem, this harvesting is done by hand, producing jobs that employ local people in a rural, poverty-stricken community, who selectively cut the oldest stalks while leaving the youngest ones to grow.
Frees up farming fields: The idea of harvesting bamboo arose during a food grain shortage China was facing in the early 1990's, when the demand for cotton was infringing on the farmable land needed for food production. Bamboo grows naturally in locations that are impractical for food production.
Sewn where sourced: Once our bamboo is harvested, it gets chipped, then processed into pulp which gets spun into yarn and made into fabric in the nearby region it is harvested from. The fabric gets dyed and then made into clothing in our production factory. All of these processes are done in stringent closed-loop systems that minimize worker exposure and pollution. And oh yeah, it’s crazy soft on the skin too; but you already knew that!