Why Do Bamboo?
The world is increasingly becoming more aware of the damage mass-produced textiles have on our environment. We are all starting to ask more of the right questions about where our products come from, who made them, what they are made of, and how our purchases may have a direct impact on the environment around us.
The reality is most clothing is made from unsustainable synthetic fabrics. It is estimated 10% of global carbon emissions come from the clothing industry. To put that into perspective, according to the World Resources Institute 2016 data, the oil and natural gas sector is responsible for 3.9% of global emissions, making the fashion industry more damaging to the environment.
"Every 10 minutes, an estimated 6000 kilos of textiles and clothing are dumped in landfill in Australia."
Most of these are made from materials that will struggle to breakdown over lengthy periods of time, if at all. In addition to this there are reports a well-known popular fast fashion retailer disposed of approximately $4.3 billion in unsold clothes in 2018 and burns approximately 12 tonnes of unsold products each year, and that is just one major retailer alone.
Participating in the fast fashion market is something almost all of us have been guilty of at some point or another. In fact, even the eco-conscious of us can’t avoid it at times. The garments are low in cost (tick), can be at our front door in a day or two (tick, tick) and it’s no secret we get a great amount of enjoyment sitting on the couch and flicking through thousands of products at our fingertips. So, the fact that Australia is right up there in leading the fast fashion trend is really no surprise.
Thankfully, with increasing consciousness around fashion’s negative impact, alternative materials are being developed and sophisticated for mass production. One of the most eco-friendly materials available is bamboo.
The bamboo plant is remarkable. It is one of the fastest growing plants in the world (essentially a grass) and it doesn’t need chemicals or fertilizers to help it grow. Bamboo is very easily organically grown as it is particularly drought tolerant, so it does not use large amounts of water for irrigation. It also has natural defences against pests, bacteria, and fungus unlike other types of wood - so doesn’t need any harmful pesticides to protect it. It grows quickly, easily, and with very minimal environmental impact.
It also makes a wonderful clothing material. Its texture softer than cotton, similar to cashmere or silk and due to its hollow fibre, it has unusual breathing capabilities. The fibres have a natural cross-section and as such it is filled with micro gaps and micro holes which allow for better moisture absorption (double that of cotton) and more ventilation than other fibres. It is also naturally resistant to odour, mould, mildew, and bacteria, even after numerous cycles through the wash3. Its durability puts it up there as one of the strongest, most resilient textiles - so you can keep wearing it over and over again without it losing its shape and strength.
Clothes are essential item; they keep us warm and protect us – and are also an important way of expressing ourselves. Billions of people around the world make decisions around clothing every single day. At Louna our hope is to provide a product that is not only great quality but has a reduced impact on the environment through conscious fabric selection and production and a sustainably focused supply-chain model. Through making the decision to invest in one high-quality, sustainable, eco-friendly shirt, you are significantly reducing the environmental impact than that of 4 synthetic, $20 shirts.
These small and seemingly insignificant changes in our daily habits can significantly reduce the excessive waste and pollution the clothing industry has on our planet. Your clothes will last considerably longer so you get way more bang for your buck, and (for bonus points) you will know your purchase was helping take care of our planet.
1 United Nations . (2018, September 16). UN Helps Fashion Industry Shift to Low Carbon. Retrieved from United Nations: Climate Change.
2 Monash Sustainable Development Institute . (2019, November 14). Pathways to transition to a circular textile economy in Australia.
3 SubrataDas. (2010). Fibres and fabrics used in home textiles. Performance of Home Textiles.