FACTS ABOUT BAMBOO
At Tufte we've been using bamboo since the beginning in 2012. Bamboo has many fantastic qualities, and it's more eco-friendly if you treat it correctly!
We work hard every day to make clothes that are great both for the environment and for the consumer. We've been using bamboo since the start due to the fact that bamboo is fast growing and efficient in terms of water and land space. And it doesn't need any artificial fertilisers, harmfull pesticides, incecticides and no extra watering! Just plain rainwater for our bamboo, please.
WHAT IS BAMBOO?
Bamboo looks like a tree, but is in fact grass, and one of the fastest growing plants in the world. Bamboo grows naturally on all continents, except in Europe. China is the country with the most bamboo – approximately 5% of all forests in China consist of bamboo.
There are more than 1000 species of bamboo in the world, and under optimal conditions bamboo can grow almost 1 meter a day and reach a total height of about 40 meters. It's a very versatile plant, and today it is used for food, flooring and scaffolding, furniture and for textile production.
WHY DO WE USE BAMBOO?
What raw material you use has a big impact on the environment, and bamboo is a raw material with fascinating qualities. It is sturdy, fast growing and makes for amazingly soft clothing.
The bamboo we use is FSC certified, which means the bamboo is grown based on principles of responsible and sustainable forestry. Another positive aspect of bamboo is that it holds more CO2 than most other plants and trees used for viscose production, and the root is known for cleansing the soil where the bamboo plant grows. Additionally, harvesting bamboo has very little impact on the ecosystem.
Regular forestry often results in deforestation when harvesting wood, this is not the case where we harvest our bamboo. New bamboo seeds are plantet after harvesting to secure the supply of raw material. And the root of the bamboo does not grow as deep as the roots of a tree.
BAMBOO - VISCOSE OR LYOCELL?
What does it mean that a garment is made of bamboo rayon/viscose or lyocell? "Viscose is viscose – it doesn't matter hva it is made of" is an argument we often hear from critical voices who believe that it is unnecessary to inform where the viscose comes from. We beg to differ!
Viscose from different raw materials has different impacts on the environment. One example is that the bamboo grows faster than many of the trees often used for viscose production (i.e eucalyptus), it only takes about 3 to 5 years until it's ready for harvesting. Another advantage is that bamboo needs less water to grow, in fact it only needs about half of what is needed from trees. And when you save water, you save energy and the environment.
If one compares with cotton, the difference is huge. Regular cotton often needs at least 10 000 liters of water, usually from artificial watering with a good amount of harmfull pesticides. Last but not least it's worth to mention that not all viscose processes are the same. As with everything else in life nothing is black-and-white, and viscose processes can differ when it comes to what chemicals are used, the amount of chemicals and how the chemicals are recycled. At Tufte we have worked with bamboo lyocell since 2017, and in this process there are no use of any harmfull chemicals at all.
IS BAMBOO VISCOSE A NATURAL MATERIAL?
No, not completely. Bamboo viscose falls somewhere in between natural fibers and synthetic fibers. It is a reconstructed fiber where the natural cellulose of the plant is extracted via a chemical process, and then spun to a material to be used in textile production.
Bamboo lyocell on the other hand, has a closed loop-system, and the chemicals normally used in viscose production are swapped with an organic solution called N-Methylmorpholine-N-oxide (NMMO)N-Methylmorpholine-N-oxide (NMMO). The water used in the production is recycled together with this solution, and both are used over and over until empty. By using this closed loop-system we reduce water consumption, and the end result is a fiber certifiably safe from harmful chemicals!
WHAT ABOUT THE PANDA?
When there's talk about harvesting bamboo for textile production, there's always the question of what this means for the panda. There are a lot of species of bamboo, and the panda is known to be quite particular and it doesn't eat just anything. The bamboo we use is very high in fiber, which is something the panda does not like. Which means that it prefers to eat a different kind of bamboo than the one we use. Thus you can be perfectly safe that no panda goes hungry because of your appetite for soft clothing.
IS BAMBOO VISCOSE ANTIBACTERIAL?
Contrary to all the test concluding that bamboo viscose has antibacterial abilities, we at Tufte do not claim that our bamboo viscose has any antibacterial effect.There exists test that does not conclude with an antibacterial effect, at the same time as we have seen tests concluding that bamboo viscose may have a bacteria inhibiting quality. Feedback from our own test panel and customers through many years show that the textiles prohibits the emergence of odor creating bacterias, and many experience reduced odor when using garments from Tufte.
WHAT OTHER ADVANTAGES DO BAMBOO TEXTILES HAVE?
Garments made of bamboo viscose or bamboo lyocell stay soft without the use of fabric softener, and are ideal for people with sensitive skin or skin allergies. The material reduces odor as well, making it perfect for underwear and socks.
There are a lot of ways of making clothes. At the same time as organic cotton is better for the environment than conventional cotton, there are both good and bad ways of processing bamboo.When you buy a product from Tufte we want you to be safe and certain that you have made a good choice in regards to the environment. We are not perfect, but we have since the beginning worked hard to make clothing as health- and allergy friendly as possible. We have come far, but are continually looking for new and more eco-friendly ways of producing clothes. As we always says: "It's always possible to get better!"