A Look Behind Our Materials
Bamboo is an ideal resource and material.
Bamboo has many advantages as a natural fiber as well as being one of the most sustainable resources available. Reaching up to 35 meters tall, bamboos are the largest members of the grass family. With the high growth rate of bamboo and the fact that bamboo can grow in such diverse climates bamboo plants are a sustainable and versatile resource.
As a textile fiber bamboo is both resilient and durable. In studies comparing it to cotton and polyester, it is found to have a high breaking tenacity, better moisture wicking properties, and better moisture absorption. These benefits became clear as we tested our pillows against other, more synthetic pillows.
Bamboo is amazing – it is one of the fastest growing plants in the world. Once harvested, bamboo can replenish itself within a year and some species grow a whopping 120cm per day! It is a naturally prolific and resilient plant, which does not need fertilisers to boost its growth, or pesticides since bamboo is naturally pest-resistant. This marks it out from cotton or timber, which needs to be replanted at every harvest and requires extensive spraying and watering to achieve optimal growth. In addition to the sustainability and natural benefits as a textile, bamboo harvesting helps support impoverished regions of the world because it can be cultivated quickly and is a natural cash crop.
Since bamboo requires no chemicals and very little water to grow, it is an environmental wonder-plant. As if this were not enough, bamboo absorbs more carbon dioxide from the air than either cotton or timber. It also releases more oxygen into the environment which improves air quality. Cotton farming, on the other hand, famously requires extensive irrigation and chemical spraying - a single cotton T-shirt can use up to 2700 litres of water in the growing process! Bamboo is by far the greener option.
Bamboo is 100% natural and biodegradable which gives conscientious consumers real peace of mind. Once you have no further use for a bamboo product you can rest easy, knowing that it will return to the Earth leaving minimal environmental impact. Plastic, on the other hand, will continue to clog up the ecosystem for the remainder of your lifetime, your children's lifetime and your grandchildren's lifetime. So much better to enjoy a product that has a small environmental footprint and leaves barely a trace.
Making Bamboo Fibre
Bamboo fibre can be used to make exceptional modern textiles. Bamboo can also be blended with cotton, hemp or even Lycra as required.
So, how is it made? In order to produce high-quality bamboo fabric, a process must be used which uses sodium hydroxide, also known as caustic soda, to break down the ‘woody’ bamboo. Crushed bamboo is soaked in the chemical to produce cellulose. There is some concern that sodium hydroxide is a harmful chemical, but when used responsibly it has absolutely no effect on the environment and workers’ health. It is routinely used in the processing of organic cotton into fibre and is approved by the Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) and the Soil Association. It is also widely used in everything from soap production to food preparation. Moreover it does not remain as a residue on bamboo clothing since it easily washes away.
Ultimately, however, manufacturers are continuing to look into ever greener ways of producing bamboo fibre in the future. It may not be a 100% eco-friendly product from start to finish, but we firmly believe that it is currently the best choice of material that we can make.
THE WONDER OF EUCALYPTUS FIBER
A life cycle analysis demonstrates the eco-friendliness of TENCEL® in comparison to cotton, polyester and polypropylene.
The study evaluates all the environmental impacts in the course of extracting the fiber and arrives at the conclusion that cotton’s toxic impact on fresh water and soil is enormous in comparison to TENCEL®. Another ecological advantage of TENCEL® is that the raw material wood, stems from forest plantations which practice sustainability. The cultivated forest land is not suitable for agriculture. In contrast, cotton uses productive agricultural land, which means it is competing with food production. Moreover, water consumption is 10 – 20 times lower than with cotton.
Eucalyptus fibre, often known by its brand name TENCEL®, is a revolutionary new plant-based fibre. Its exceptional natural characteristics for absorbency, hygiene and temperature regulation make it ideal for use in bedding.
Because children and babies have immature temperature regulation systems, they’re far more susceptible to chilling and overheating while they sleep. Eucalyptus fibre is a highly efficient insulator, helping keep your child warm in cool weather and cool in warm weather.
That means your child’s body doesn’t have to work so hard to warm and cool itself throughout the night. The result is a less disturbed, more restful night’s sleep.
TENCEL® deals with moisture like no other. The fiber absorbs moisture completely and naturally and then releases it to the outside.
Compared to synthetic fibers, the optimum moisture transportation of TENCEL® is unique. The fibril structure of the fiber helps create an optimal skin climate due to the superior moisture absorption.
However, TENCEL® really stands out when compared with cotton. Compared to cotton, TENCEL® absorbs the moisture in a controlled and regular manner. With TENCEL® a 50 % improvement in moisture management was measured.
Since the textile has a smooth surface, the softness is appreciable and prevents irritations to the skin. Thus, TENCEL® promotes an optimal skin feeling thanks to the smooth fiber surface. Rough fiber surfaces can cause skin irritations. Compared to the fiber surfaces of cotton and wool, it is clear that TENCEL® is much smoother and softer on the skin.
Totally natural hygiene
With TENCEL® the formation of bacteria is reduced. Moisture is immediately transported into the inside of the fiber. Thus, no moisture film, which can sustain bacterial growth, forms on the fiber.
Completely without chemicals
The growth of bacteria can be restricted completely naturally without chemical additives. A test demonstrates that the growth of bacteria on TENCEL® is greatly reduced. In synthetic fibers, on the other hand, the number of bacteria increases by up to 2000 times.