What is it?
Bamboo is a plant that is commonly grown in Asia and is a type of grass with a hard, woody, hollow stem. It's the fastest growing plant in the world, because of it's ability to absorb water. That ability is retained permanently in fabric form, making it a natural moisture wicking fabric.
Bamboo fabric is a natural textile made from the pulp of the bamboo grass and it has been growing in popularity because of its many unique properties and sustainability. The fabric is light and strong, has excellent wicking properties and is naturally antibacterial. Bamboo possesses a property called "Bamboo Kun" which means that it is naturally anti-microbial. Even after it is processed into fabric and after fifty washes, bamboo fabrics retain their anti-fungal, anti-bacterial nature, according to research by Japan Textile Inspection Association. Making it suitable for those sensitive to allergens and also reduces body odor, without the risk of allergic reaction associated with exposure to the chemicals used to give other materials similar properties. Bamboo fabric is very soft and can be worn directly next to the skin. Many people who experience allergic reactions to other natural fibers, such as wool or hemp, do not complain of this issue with bamboo. The fiber is naturally smooth and round without chemical treatment, meaning that there are no sharp spurs to irritate the skin.
Bamboo makes an extremely soft fabric with high breathability and keeps you cooler in the heat and warmer in the cold than normal fabrics because of its unique capillary structure. A natural successor to all the oil based performance fabrics, it's also good for casual wear. It is normally mixed with 30% cotton to help keep its proper structure. Bamboo clothing is also anti static, which means it doesn't stick to you on a hot day. Its microstructure shows completely smooth fibres, not the usual jagged edges. With the softness, the moisture wicking ability and its natural coolness in the heat, bamboo clothing is very comfortable in the heat and it makes a warm winter thermal.
The benefits of bamboo are abundant. Because bamboo grows so quickly, it is a resource that is not only sustainable, but also gives back to the environment. Beyond the environment, there are many benefits for the people wearing bamboo clothes. It grew naturally, with the sun, the rain, the stars and the moon. Not only that, but everything about your shirt is natural; it's 100%, not 99%, biodegradable. Cotton is one of the most intensely sprayed crops in the world, and cotton pesticides are the greatest crop contributor to volatile organic compounds in the environment. Cotton requires wide spacing to grow, allowing bare soil to oxidize in the sun, releasing carbon into the atmosphere, allowing rain to wash soil and chemicals into stream, and decreasing soil fertility. Bamboo, on the other hand, takes in five times the volume of greenhouse gasses as an equivalent stand of timber trees and releases 35% more oxygen. It needs no replanting, pesticides or fertilizers, and its roots retain water in the watershed, sustaining riverbanks and reducing water pollution.