World Bamboo Day is on 18th September 2021 and we’re understandably stoked! Proud to use this sustainable resource in all of our accessories, it’s a versatile member of the grass family (Poaceae). Some believe that bamboo helped the Chinese build tree houses over 5,000 years ago. Today, it has many different applications beyond construction. To mark the occasion, we’re highlighting this forest giant’s versatility. Continue reading to discover 4 unexpected uses for bamboo.
We’re starting with a little-known use for bamboo. Tree-based alcohol is actually experiencing a boom. According to those in the know, the taste of sake wine can be enhanced with green bamboo. In the Chinese village Baishuijian, enterprising locals make harness their local bamboo forest. They inject liquor into sizable bamboo shoots just as Western distilleries age their alcohol in oak barrels. After one year of purification, they sell this brew for around £56 per shoot.
Bamboo liquor’s uses also extend beyond a night out. A 38-46% sweet liquor named ‘Zhuyeqing jiu’ forms a key ingredient in several herbal medicines.
Read anything interesting lately? You may have been holding (tree-free) bamboo paper. Bamboo-based pulps are transformed into paper in many Eastern countries. Why? The twenty-first century’s printing industry is responding to consumer demand for sustainability. This follows the devastating consequences of relying on tree-based paper:
- 2018 saw a demand of 422 million metric tons of paper and cardboard
- 40% of the world’s industrial wood was utilised in the paper and pulp industry (Bamboo Ink).
Instead, sustainable bamboo has been patented for use in paper production since 1864. Known as a ‘fibre crop’, it is renewable, does not need to be replanted after harvesting. Amazingly, it can grow just under 1.5 inches per hour.
Although a considered purchase, these environmentally friendly ‘boys’ toys’ are becoming more accessible. They let you stand out amongst the cycling crowd. Yet, their plus points benefit both the planet and the rider:
- They avoid the mining of traditional materials such as aluminium, so there is little disruption to the planet
- Renewable bamboo is also ‘noticeably smoother on the road than bikes made from the usual materials’ including aluminium and steel.
Lighter to transport too, bamboo’s fibres are hardy enough (once sealed) to withstand the knocks of everyday use, unlike aluminium and carbon fibre frames. One question remains. Would you choose a road, racing or mountain bike version?
- Sustainable accessories
First patented for use in fashion as far back as 1881, our modern bamboo viscose fabric is the opposite of the rigid corsets that originally housed bamboo structures. Given its robustness, you might be thinking ‘why would I want to place bamboo on my skin?’. Answers to this question include comfort, breathability and antibacterial properties.
Also, every Swole Panda scarf, pair of boxers and socks include a minimum of 75% Moso bamboo. Available in an array of different designs, one thing remains constant: we bring brilliantly British designs to help global sustainability. Still on the fence about buying bamboo accessories? Why not read our blog post ‘Why bamboo makes an excellent fabric’ to learn more.
Clearly a versatile and fast-growing natural resource, we’ve shown how bamboo has been harnessed in several unexpected – and rather cool – ways. Looking to try our sustainable accessories? Start by browsing our 50+ new sock designs and do get in touch if you have any questions.