Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Debate Over Bamboozling

At DeviDoll we've been fans of alternative fabrics from the very start, bamboo among them. But we have noted that man-made (sorry, Harriet Harman, person-made) fabrics - bamboo, lyocell, tencel, PLA etc -- need to be produced sustainably to truly qualify for green status, otherwise, all the chemical byproducts in their production sort of defeats the whole point.

Well, this and several other issues in the 'green-ness' of bamboo are now in the limelight with the the Federal Trade Commission in the US charging 4 companies with making false claims about the how eco bamboo actually is and what positive properties bamboo clothing actually has. Read the whole press release here. The companies have rebutted with their counter-claims and others have joined the fray on both sides.

The topic is an important one as almost everyday, bamboo more than any other fabric, is gaining ground as a perfect 'eco' fabric with the same list of benefits repeated. It is relatively cheap, abundantly available from suppliers in China and India not all of whom can be adquately supervised and often reaches garment cutting stage relatively un-policed. So understanding all the claims, separating the wheat from the chaff, is essential.

While there is no doubt that bamboo can be a sustainable alternative to conventional fabrics this is not without caveats and to accord it miracle status unthinkingly....well....that's just silly.

Believe in bamboo, but not blindly.


Anonymous said...

Hi! Does it mean that Fin bamboo dresses from AW2010 and Viridis Luxe bamboo pieces are actually rayon? I was a little bit disappointed when I saw on the label of Viridis Luxe the word "viscose"... Im not an expert in textiles but I dont really like that word because for me it associates with something far from eco friendly :(

Anastasia said...

hi! sorry for being whingy but now i feel kinda bad about buying Viridis Luxe "bamboo" blend clothing =.= It says on the label "Viscose from bamboo" so technically there is nothing wrong. As I have pretty limited knowledge of fabrics I thought well maybe that's what bamboo fiber is called, although I heard that "viscose" is not a happy healthy fiber... :(
I'm a bit paranoid about natural stuff, that's why I didnt buy Kuyichi sweater that had some nylon and acrylic in it.. I didnt understand why my favourite brand would use this synthetics?
I love eco-fashion but considerable amount of money spent of viscose (or rayon?) makes me feel discouraged and very disappointed...


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