Friday, 8 April 2011

Bamboo products.

Something that I have decided to incorporate more of into my life is bamboo products.  Not solely for the sake of having them, but as my existing bedding, towels and clothing (where possible) wear out, I've tried to incorporate more bamboo.  I'm not sure when I'll ever get to the point where I actually need more clothing, I think I have enough to probably last me the rest of my life, but maybe I'll get some bamboo underwear.  I've never bought any, but have seen them, and have thought that they may be very comfortable, based on their feel and my previous experiences with other bamboo products.

My absolute favourite sheets ever are bamboo sheets.  I can't remember when I first came across them, but it was probably relatively recently because it hasn't been that long since bamboo has become a bit more mainstream.  Tim and I got a king sized bed when we moved in together last year, and since neither of us had a king sized bed before, we had to get new sheets.  We got our sheets from Quilts, Etc. as I had been eying them for months (I very rarely ever buy anything on the spur of the moment and usually think about things for months before I buy them).  We only bought one set of sheets for our bed and have been using them since. They are still in perfect condition a year later.  They are also softer than any sheets that I have owned previously, almost like sateen, but without the static.  They are as soft today as they were they day we got them.

My mother actually got some very nice bamboo towels a while ago, which I have used when I've visited and they seem to be very good quality, quite soft, no strange shrinking problems like you sometimes have with cotton.  I always have to wonder about the quality of things at my parents house because my parents take very good care of their possessions, so it's hard to say if they would survive under more strenuous testing.

You may be wondering why bamboo is worth looking into.  Bamboo as a fabric is fairly environmentally friendly compared to cotton, particularly with respect to the way that it is grown.  First of all, cotton requires a large amount of pesticides to grow whereas bamboo does not. Cotton requires far more water to grow.  In addition, bamboo has anti-microbial properties, as do the products made from it. Bamboo requires less dye to achieve similar colour results, and finally, bamboo is biodegradable (only by a combination of microorganisms and sunshine, don't worry your sheets aren't going to start biodegrading as you sleep!).  It is also one of the most renewable resources in the world because bamboo grows 1-3 feet every 24 hours.

I saw that one negative about bamboo being that often harsh chemicals are required to transform it from its raw form into fibers for clothing.  It seems that the industry is controversial due to this fact, as often bamboo is marketed as "natural" or "green".  Some people say that the detriments outweigh the positives.  Generally, bamboo gets major points for sustainability, but the manufacturing processes leaves something to be desired. In any event, I would definitely look to bamboo as an improvement over cotton which rates poorly both in its sustainability and also as a fabric generally.


  1. We have Bamboo diapers for my daughter, and they're amazing! The most absorbant diapers I have ever used, and so soft... We use them for her every night.

  2. We use two different kinds. Bummis (actually Totsbots, imported by Bummis )

    and Mother Ease (

    I don't think they're dyed or bleached... they're, but I'm not sure.

    We also have some Organic Cotton diapers from BumGenius, which are also pretty nice.

    She couldn't handle any disposalble diapers, but other cloth diapers are okay. THe disposables just brought out rashes right away. It was horrible.

  3. I deleted my previous comment because it was very stream of consciousness and upon re-reading it realized it didn't make sense to anyone but me! I'm definitely doing cloth when my time comes. The small landfill of disposable diapers that is created by each child raised on disposables is enough to justify the effort. It's really great to hear what works for others, thanks for the suggestions!