FACTS ABOUT BAMBOO
FACTS ABOUT BAMBOO
We at Tufte have used bamboo since we started in 2012. Bamboo has many wonderful properties, and is also sustainable if you treat it correctly!
We work hard every single day to make clothes that are good for both the environment and the consumer. We have used bamboo since the beginning because it is rapidly renewable and efficient both in terms of water and land use. And at least as important, no pesticides, artificial fertilizers or artificial irrigation are required to grow our bamboo.
WHAT IS BAMBOO?
Bamboo looks like a tree, but belongs to the grass family and is one of the fastest growing plants in the world. Bamboo occurs naturally on all continents of the world, with the exception of Europe. China is the country in the world where the most bamboo grows, and there bamboo accounts for approx. 5% of all forests.
There are more than 1,000 species of bamboo, and under optimal conditions bamboo can grow almost a meter a day and reach a height of up to 40 metres. Bamboo is a very versatile plant, and is used today, among other things, as food, for flooring and construction, furniture and for textile production.
WHY DO WE USE BAMBOO?
The choice of raw materials has a major impact on the environment, and bamboo is a raw material with fascinating properties. It is hard, fast-growing and makes wonderfully soft clothes.
The bamboo we use is grown based on the principles of responsible and sustainable forest management. Another positive aspect of bamboo is that it holds more CO2 than most other trees used for viscose production, and its root system is known to purify the soil where the plant grows. In addition, the interventions in the ecosystem are smaller when harvesting bamboo.
Normal forestry often carries out clear cutting in its timber harvesting, this is not the case where we harvest our bamboo. New bamboo is planted after harvesting to ensure a supply of raw material. The bamboo's root system also does not go as deep as the roots of a tree.
BAMBOO - VISCOSE OR LYOCELL?
What does it really mean that a garment is made of bamboo viscose or bamboo lyocell? "Viscose is viscose - it doesn't matter what you make it from" is an argument we are often met with by critical voices who believe it is unnecessary to disclose where the viscose comes from. We strongly disagree with this.
Viscose from different raw materials has varying effects on the environment. One example is that bamboo grows faster than the trees that are often used for viscose production (e.g. eucalyptus), it only takes between 3 and 5 years before it is ready to be cut. Another advantage is that bamboo uses less water to grow, the amount of water is approx. half of what is required for trees.
If you compare with cotton, the difference is huge as cotton usually requires at least 20,000 liters of water to produce 1kg, usually from artificial irrigation, in addition to a significant amount of pesticides. Finally, it is worth noting that all viscose processes are not the same either. As with most things in life, nothing is black and white, and viscose processes can be different in terms of, among other things, which chemicals, amount of chemicals and how the chemicals are recovered. In Tufte, we have been working with bamboo lyocell since 2017, where no harmful chemicals are used whatsoever.
IS BAMBOO VISCOSE A NATURAL MATERIAL?
No, not quite. Bamboo viscose falls between the natural fiber and synthetic categories. It is a reconstructed fiber in which a plant's natural cellulose has been extracted via a chemical process, and this has been spun into a material that can be used for textile production.
Bamboo lyocell, on the other hand, has a closed loop system and chemicals normally used in viscose production are here replaced with an organic solution called N-Methylmorpholine-N-oxide (NMMO). The water used during production is recycled together with this solution, and together they are used again and again until it is empty. By using this closed loop system, you reduce water use considerably, and the end result is a fiber that is certified free of harmful chemicals.
WHAT ABOUT THE PANDA?
When it comes to harvesting bamboo for textile production, questions quickly arise about what this means for the panda. There are an incredible number of species of bamboo and as you know, the panda can be a bit quirky, so it doesn't like just anything. The bamboo we use is very high in fibre, which the panda doesn't like. So you can be sure that no pandas go hungry because of your appetite for soft clothes.
IS BAMBOO VISCOSE ANTI-BACTERIAL?
Despite the fact that there are tests that conclude that bamboo viscose has antibacterial properties, Tufte does not claim that our bamboo viscose has an antibacterial effect. There are tests that do not conclude with an antibacterial effect, at the same time we have also seen several studies that conclude that bamboo viscose can have an antibacterial effect. Feedback from our own test panel and customers over many years shows that the textiles inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria, as many people experience reduced odor when wearing garments from Tufte.
WHAT OTHER BENEFITS ARE THERE FROM BAMBOO TEXTILES?
Clothes made from bamboo viscose or bamboo lyocell stay soft without the use of fabric softener, and are therefore ideal for people with sensitive skin or skin allergies. The material helps to reduce the growth of bacteria* and we experience less odor formation in the garments - which makes it perfect for use in underwear.
There are many ways to make clothes. In the same way that organic cotton is better for the environment than conventional cotton, there are both good and less good ways of making bamboo. When you buy a product from Tufte, you can be confident that you've made a good choice in terms of the environment. We are not perfect, but since we started we have worked hard to make clothes that are as health and environmentally friendly as possible. We have come a long way, but are continuously looking for new and even more environmentally friendly production processes. As Olaf always says "It's always possible to get better".