Featured: Most Sustainable Fabric? - Bead & Reel
Posted on May 15 2019
Bamboo fabric (more appropriately called viscose) often gets touted as a totally sustainable fabric or equally disparaged as a green-washed fraud, and I think it depends how you define "sustainable" to determine which is more true.
This semi-synthetic is made from a fast growing, low intervention plant which requires much less water than cotton, so that could definitely be considered agriculturally sustainable. But in order to turn this rough fiber into a wearable, comfortable cloth it goes through an intense chemical process which can end up both in our environment and our skin. But it also tends to be less expensive than cotton and other natural fabrics which can be really important for the viability of small brands and small batch productions and individual shopper budgets. And it's suuuuuuuper soft.
So what's the conclusion on bamboo? That's up to you!
Other viscose fabrics include modal, lyocell, and rayon, which are covered more in depth here.