Bamboo: Sustainable but not Green

Did you know that bamboo fabric is not organic or chemical free? While products from bamboo come from a more sustainable source, the process to transform this material into fibers for clothing is far from organic or natural.

Processes with sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide help turn the plant pulp into threads of weavable material.

That being said, that’s only considering the production of fabric.
Bamboo is also commonly used for flooring.


The production of bamboo flooring has social impacts on labor, requires transit energy, contains little to no recycled material, can negatively impact ecosystems and can have a negative affect on indoor air quality. Although bamboo is “the new thing” when it comes to renewable materials, the processes involved with growing practices, labor and transportation need to be addressed, monitored and standardized in order to legitimize the its sustainability. Right now, bamboo is not as green as it could be.

To do so, bamboo products need to acquire some sort of certification about the responsibility of production. Secondly, they need to cut the use of fermaldihyde in the production of materials. Thirdly, involvement from the Fair Trade commission could eliminate questions about the labor practices associated with harvesting and purchasing bamboo.

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