Sustainability Choices. Fabric made of Bamboo or Organically Grown Cotton?
Apart from soft and comfort fabrics like silk, cotton and satin, there are clothes made from organic cotton and bamboo. In the face of growing world problems, synthetic and plastic are causing irreversible damage and threats to the environment, fabrics like bamboo and organic cotton are definitely a blessing! But, which of them is more environmentally friendly is the challenge!
We have tried to demystify both for you
Bamboo does not require chemicals and pesticides to grow. While growing Bamboo, can be termed as an organic process, the processing of Bamboo fibers is not so organic.
There are essentially two types of processes that produce bamboo fibers. One is with natural enzymes and the other is with chemicals. Natural enzymes are used to separate out the fibers from the crushed wood pulp of bamboo. But, this is an extremely laborious and time-consuming process. After treating the wood pulp with natural enzymes, the fibers are manually combed out using necessary tools.
The other process involves chemical treatment of the crushed Bamboo wood. The wood is soaked in a chemical solvent such as Sodium Hydroxide, which converts the pulp into cellulose. These cellulose fibers are then spun into yarn.
Most Bamboo fabrics are made using a chemical treatment unless they specifically carry the Organic certification.
- Eco-friendly and easy to grow
- Fabric is soft and strong
- Fabric gets dyed easily
- Manufacturing process is hazardous.
- Resultant fabric can act as a skin allergen.
- Bamboo fabric is non-biodegradable.
- Poses a threat to the aquatic ecosystem.
Organic cotton is natural and pure. It is cultivated using natural fertilizers such as compost and manure. Even the seeds are not treated with any chemicals and are not genetically modified. When a fabric is certified organic, it implies that there has been no use of chemical and azo dyes- only natural and non-toxic dyes have been used.
Organic cotton farming prevent farmers from getting exposed to the toxic chemicals used as pesticides and fungicides. The soil remains healthier as crop rotation is practiced in organic cotton farming.
- Skin friendly
- Works towards empowerment of farmers.
- Keeps the soil healthy.
- Feels soft to the skin.
- Free of toxic chemicals.
- Breathable and light
- Not very widely available.
Which is Better ?
So in a nutshell, Cotton has a number of benefits over Bamboo. Right from being eco-friendly to empowering the farmers and being skin friendly, cotton has it all. By choosing organic cotton, you are making a socially conscious decision and doing your bit towards giving back to nature.