For the environmentally conscious, selecting clothing that is eco-friendly and sustainable clothing isn’t an option; it’s a necessity. However, there are some who claim that even though they would love to leave less of a carbon footprint and purchase clothing that is sustainable, chemical-free, and environmentally friendly, the available options fail to meet the demands they place on their clothing. This is especially true of performance wear. When we consider what to wear for athletics, working out, running, hiking, or extreme outdoor activity, we consider clothing that is performance-driven and will be able to keep up with our need for adventure and adrenaline.
This passion for clothing that is durable and out-performs the basic t-shirt can lead us to buy every manner of chemical-laden, synthetic fabric available. Most of the time, we don’t even realize the fabrics we are purchasing take such a large toll on the environment. Consider, for instance, the purchase of a moisture-wicking performance tank top. Most fabric that is considered “moisture wicking” is only able to effectively remove moisture from your body because it has been chemically treated.
Chemically treated clothing is not only bad for the environment; it’s bad for our bodies. The process by which clothing is treated involves the use of textiles that are not naturally occurring. Synthetic fabrics are essentially created in a lab by mixing chemicals that eventually produce fibers. These fibers are woven into clothing that is then treated with a chemical spray that allows them to remove moisture from your skin.
The factories that produce chemically treated clothing have byproducts of this treatment process. Those byproducts are released either into the air or the water supply, damaging the environment and putting the surrounding ecosystem at risk.
Once the clothing arrives at your doorstep, you’re unknowingly placing fabric directly onto your skin that has been treated with chemicals. If you have sensitive skin, you may notice that some fabrics irritate your skin more than others. This is likely due to the chemical treatment of the fabric. Additionally, once you’ve washed and dried the article of clothing a few times, the performance-enhanced wicking property begins to dissipate, which can lead you to buy, you guessed it, another chemically-laden shirt.
There’s a better option for performance-driven clothing, and it’s found in bamboo fabric. Bamboo viscose, the material created from bamboo fibers, is some of the hardest working, most durable fabric available, and it’s environmentally friendly, too. Here are six advantages of bamboo fabric that make it the superior choice for clothing that must endure everything you do.
6 Benefits of Bamboo Fabric
We need our workout wear to be durable, comfortable, moveable, and attractive. While many will settle for some of the chemical creations referenced above, many of us feel there’s a real danger in settling for something that is so harsh on the environments and our bodies. Is it possible for us to find clothing that can perform for us without harming the environment? The answer is yes, absolutely.
1. Bamboo clothing is a moisture wicking hero. No chemically treated garment can out-perform a bamboo piece. Bamboo is naturally moisture-wicking because of the natural bamboo fibers. Because bamboo grows in climates that are hot and moist, the plant can soak up moisture and retain it to help it grow. Bamboo is the fastest growing tree on the planet, and in order to grow that fast, it requires a lot of water.
The process we at tasc Performance use to create bamboo viscose fabric ensures that the properties of the bamboo tree make it through to the bamboo clothing fibers. This way, you can trust that the bamboo shirt you buy will keep you drier than any synthetic piece you might find at the sporting goods store.
2. Bamboo fabric is naturally odor-resistant. You may have heard of odor-absorbing fabric, and quite honestly, that sounds horrendous. No fabric should absorb and trap odors, but that’s just what many synthetic performance-grade fabrics do. Because of the nature of the synthetic fibers and their chemical treatment, many articles of clothing designs designed for sweat-related activities absorb and trap odor in the fabric fibers that can be almost impossible to remove.
If you’ve ever thrown on a shirt and smelled a dingy odor the second you start sweating, chances are you are experiencing this phenomenon.
Bamboo fabric is naturally odor-resistant. Because it isn’t treated with chemicals, the natural fibers can resist odor. Bamboo has antibacterial properties, which also allow it to resist mold and mildew, which can otherwise ruin a piece of clothing. Your bamboo fabric clothing will always smell fresh and clean no matter what kind of workout you expose it to.
3. Bamboo fabric is naturally UV protectant. We all know skin cancer is a real and prevalent issue. With so many of us being passionate about nature and all things outdoors, it is important we wear UV protectant clothing. Most UV protectant clothing is able to block the sun’s harmful rays through the use of, you guessed it, more chemical coating.
This chemical coating allows the garment to have UV protection, but because the UV protection comes in the form of a chemical finish, it is likely the UV protection won’t last after a few washes.
Bamboo fabric is naturally UV protectant and has a protection rating of 50+ without the use of chemicals, and that protection lasts no matter how many times you wash your clothing.
4. Bamboo fabric is hypoallergenic. When we create fabric from bamboo, we don’t have to use chemicals or blend it with large amounts of heavy synthetic fibers to create the performance capabilities you demand from your clothing. As such, you won’t find ingredients in bamboo fabric that will irritate your sensitive skin. Instead, you’ll find super soft, luxe cotton/bamboo blended fabric that is gentle on your skin as it feels, but tough as nails when it comes to performance capabilities.
5. Bamboo fabric is a climate control wonder. Bamboo fiber is naturally very porous, and the fibers themselves have tiny gaps in them that allow for air to flow freely in and out. This natural ventilation system allows bamboo fabric to be some of the world’s best thermal regulating fabric.
When the air is cold, bamboo fabric traps body heat and keeps you warm without trapping sweat against your skin, which can make you feel damp and cold. When the air is hot, bamboo fabric wicks away moisture that can leave you feeling “humid” and allows for air to flow in and out of the garment to keep you cool. Bamboo fabric can do this only when it is processed in such a way that the natural benefits of the bamboo fiber make it into the fabric, a patent-pending process that tasc Performance developed.
6. Bamboo fabric is the ultimate in easy care. With all these benefits, it would be easy to assume that bamboo fabric clothing would carry a one-way ticket to the dry cleaner, but surprisingly, bamboo fabrics are some of the most easily cared for textiles available.
Not only can your bamboo fabric performance wear be tossed directly into your washer and dryer, but you will also never have to worry about ironing, which is awesome because with so many exquisite designs available, you’ll definitely want to wear some of your gear to places other than the gym.
What Else Can Bamboo Fabric Do?
One of the most significant advantages of seeking out bamboo fabric products is that it is environmentally friendly. Worldwide, bamboo production is extremely sustainable, which means that every time bamboo is cut for production, it is replanted on the same soil and regrown. Because bamboo is so quickly grown, it can be grown and harvested in as little as a year’s time.
It’s not only sustainable for the environment; it is sustainable for humans. From the farmers who grow the bamboo to the workers who turn it into fiber in the factory, bamboo provides employment to individuals at a fair and just wage. In fact, positions at bamboo factories are some of the higher-paying jobs in the areas where they are located, and offer access to health insurance and even college and career advancement to their employees, who might otherwise be unable to further themselves.
Bamboo is an incredibly high performing fabric that is a great alternative to synthetic, chemically-laden workout wear. Bamboo consistently outperforms other materials in terms of moisture-wicking capabilities, odor resistance, UV protection, comfort, and composition. You simply cannot find another textile that performs as well as naturally as bamboo fabric does. You can depend on bamboo to be easy to wear, supremely comfortable, and superior in function compared to its synthetically derived counterparts. Bamboo is environmentally friendly and sustainable for not only the planet but for the people who work to produce bamboo fabric as well. Choosing bamboo fabric is a choice that promotes the environment and helps us reduce waste and end the global cycle of abused natural resources.