Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lucky Bamboo (Part of The Fall Eco-Fashion Series.. )

What do conventional fashion designers Oscar de la Renta and Kate O’Connor, eco-fashion designers Amanda Shi of Avita, home furnishings manufacturers The Bamboo Revolution and clothing manufacturers Bamboosa, Shirts Of Bamboo, HTnaturals have in common? Bamboo.

Bamboo is making waves throughout the fashion industry because of its smooth texture, gentle drape, exquisite softness and and easy price when compared to silk and cashmere. And, not to forget why it gets a whole post on this blog– because of its eco friendly cachet.

After my research, all I have to say is that most of the hoopla is justified.

Growing bamboo is a wonderfully beneficial plant for the planet and is even more beneficial when growing organic bamboo. Botanically, bamboo is is classified as a grass and not a tree. It is the fastest growing grass and can shoot up a yard or more a day. Bamboo reaches maturity quickly and is ready for harvesting in about 4 years. Bamboo does not require replanting after harvesting because its vast root network continually sprouts new shoots which almost zoom up while you watch them, pulling in sunlight and greenhouse gases and converting them to new green growth. And bamboo does this the natural way without the need for petroleum-guzzling tractors and poisonous pesticides and fertilizers. With all of that, bamboo just might be the world’s most sustainable resource.

Newer manufacturing facilities have begun using other technologies to chemically manufacture bamboo fiber that are more benign and eco-friendly. The latest in nano-technologies are being introduced into the bamboo clothing industry.

GreenYarn, a startup located in Boston, is developing a bamboo clothing line made from nano-particles of bamboo charcoal. GreenYarn’s “Eco-fabric” is manufactured from 4 to 5 year old Taiwanese-grown bamboo that has been dried and burned in 800 degree C ovens until it is reduced to charcoal. The bamboo is processed into nano particles which are then embedded into cotton, polyester or nylon fibers. This conventional fiber yarn that contains trapped bamboo charcoal nano particles is then woven into fabrics … mostly socks and blankets now.

Be sure to check out their slumber gear; my personal favorite. Their blankets prevent static electricity buildup, so no more snap, crackle, pop of wintery shocks when using the fleece in the chilly winter.

Greenyarn’s eco-fabric is promoted as being anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-static, de-odorizing, breathable, thermal regulating (cool in hot weather and warm in cool weather), and environmentally friendly.

What's special about Bamboo?

- Bamboo clothing is easy to launder
- Because of the smooth and round structure of its fibers, bamboo clothing is soft and non-irritating, even to sensitive skin.
- Bamboo is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal
- Bamboo clothing is hypoallergenic
- Bamboo fabric has a natural sheen and softness that feels and drapes like silk but is less expensive and more durable

Bamboo the plant as well as bamboo the fabric get a 5 star on being environmentally friendly!

1 comment:

bindu said...

I wonder how green or organic bamboo nano particles can be considering they are generated at 800oC. How much energy is consumed or how many green house gases or flue are emitted in maintaining an oven at 800oC? Also, bamboo charcoal is nothing but elemental carbon that means its fibre structure has been destroyed. I don't think bamboo's natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties are retained after incineration to charcoal and any such properties claimed by GreenYarn has to be attributed to other fibers that the charcoal nano particles are interlocked into. It can, however, rightfully claim de-odorizing property. Activated charcoal is known to be a great adsorbent material.