Fabrics made from Bamboo continue to grow in popularity, but what many ignore is the origins of bamboo fabric and what effects its manufacture has on the environment.
Some bamboo fabric producers claim that bamboo fabric is less harmful to the environment than other types of fabric and uses less fertilizer, but the reality is that bamboo fabric is far from organic or eco-friendly.
The process of producing bamboo fabrics is very similar to making any other viscose fabric. The process consists of purification and bleaching before soaking in sodium hydroxide. It is then treated with carbon disulfide and centrifuged in a solution of sulfuric acid, sodium sulfate, zinc sulfate and glucose. With significant emissions to air and water, it is no wonder that the processing of this fabric places it in the category of fabrics with high environmental impact.
In terms of fauna and flora, the deforestation of bamboo forests causes very significant damage. According to a UN report, more than 1,200 species of woody bamboo are in danger of extinction. Deforestation is known to deprive many bamboo species of their natural habitat. Pandas, lemurs, and gorillas might be hungry.
Hungry panda in a Chinese zoo
It has been found that around 600 species are endangered, with less than 20,000 square kilometers of natural habitat. And some 250 varieties have less than 2,000 square kilometers of land the size of London to live on. Some of these species have hardly any forest left. One of the reasons bamboo has been hit so hard is its distinctive cycle of mass flowering and death. Individuals of the same species tend to flower together once every 10 to 100 years and then die. If a forest is cleared at this time, the bamboo will not grow back.s.
Deforestation in Taiwan
Deforestation is equally harmful to humans, millions of people depend on wild bamboo for food, furniture and building materials. Worldwide, more than 2.5 billion people trade in or use bamboo. The international market for bamboo products is worth more than $ 2 billion a year, as much as American beef.
Take action in favor of the environment and avoid bamboo fabric!