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Is Bamboo an Environmentally Friendly Fabric?

Is Bamboo an Environmentally Friendly Fabric?

May 03, 2021

Is Bamboo an Environmentally Friendly Fabric?

At a time when more of us are looking to reduce our impact on the planet, knowing where to find eco-conscious accessories can still be tricky. Inspired by alternative resources whilst studying at university, brothers Oliver and James Slacke teamed up to found Swole Panda in 2017. Motivated to create a brand that has a minimum impact on the environment whilst honouring contemporary designs and quality, we bring adventurous and sustainable accessories made from (biodegradable) bamboo to our customers. After considerable research, we discovered that this ‘green gold’ makes a truly environmentally friendly fabric. Let us show you why.

Addressing global warming and panda conservation

Forests are caretakers of the planet. They remove damaging greenhouse gases from the atmosphere as a type of carbon sink. However, bamboo forests take this to the next level by removing up to 15 tons of carbon dioxide per year: meanwhile, a young forest (one aged under 60 years) sequesters considerably less (4.5 tons). Bamboo replenishes up to 35% more oxygen than trees, and reforestation could also link up isolated giant pandas. Amazingly, bamboo products have the potential for a negative carbon footprint throughout their life, easing the effects of pollution on the planet. This highlights the many environmentally friendly credentials seen at the growth stage.

It Grows… Fast!

Unlike other cellulose fabrics, bamboo takes up a much smaller footprint. Producing 10 times more yield than cotton in an equal area of land, this natural material soon replenishes itself. In fact, some species can grow as much as 1 meter each day. Once cut down (above ground) to harvest, new shoots soon emerge from the low canes left behind. It will be a mere 12 months until the next harvest is ready. Leaving these roots in place brings another benefit; it avoids soil erosion and the release of carbon dioxide caused by tilling or agitating the ground. Bamboo roots also fortify deforested areas and strengthen riverbanks against potential flooding and mudslides. That’s a considerable amount of natural conservation taking place, given the speed of its growth across approximately 100 million acres of the earth.

Pesticide-free

Bamboo is pesticide and fertiliser-free. There’s no need given the rate it grows in the humid Chinese forests where we source our Moso bamboo. The fabric we create has been applauded for its environmentally friendly ethos. Receiving the celebrated OEKO-TEX STANDARD 100 certification shows that our fabrics fulfil the skin-friendly standards they require, with no dangerous substances like formaldehyde, AZO dyestuffs, or extractable heavy metals found in our fabric. Both aspects honour our commitment to sustainability by leaving no nasties in the ground or on the skin.

Also, the bamboo we use in our accessories is 100% organically grown and managed to FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) guidelines. Now you can support these forests ­ recognised as bringing environmental benefits to their surroundings - when shopping.

Minimal Waste

From the pulp production to the fibre production processes, our bamboo travels through environmentally conscious factories which hold Amfori certification. This reflects our responsible use of natural resources within their Trade with Purpose values, carried over into our small supply base. Determined to make our impact a positive one, we speak to the clothing factory every day, and visit them as frequently as possible. One has made a considerable investment in waste treatment solutions and is now a world-leader in producing sustainable bamboo viscose.

Meeting ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System criteria highlights how precious resources including water are conserved in the closed-loop system we’ve established. Cotton on the other hand requires a staggering 2,700 litres of water to produce one t-shirt, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Click here to discover more about our bamboo’s incredible journey. What’s more, we’ve achieved Quality Management System ISO 9001. This demonstrates the consistency of the high-quality natural bamboo yarn we work with. A wonder of the material world.

Bamboo is one environmentally friendly fabric given its rate of growth, lack of pesticides, and increased ability to transform carbon dioxide into oxygen. Combined with our sustainable production methods and colourful British designs, we ensure that bamboo’s many benefits don’t stop at the harvest stage. There is the potential to bring planet positive change by buying our socks, scarves, and other accessories, without sacrificing quality or style. Reach out at info@swolepanda.com for more information or shop the collection online.



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