Bamboo Fabric and Rayon
Is bamboo fabric and bamboo clothing eco-friendly?
The answer to this question is not so simple. Many products that are labeled as bamboo fabric are actually manufactured from Rayon, which is processed plant cellulose. Rayon can be manufactured with any plant cellulose, not just bamboo. It requires a highly toxic chemical process that is considered to have a negative impact on the environment. Many manufacturers have reportedly mislabeled Rayon products a Bamboo Fibre. In any case, there are several aspects of bamboo fiber that are good for the environment and several that are negative. We will start with the negative points of bamboo fiber first.
Pros and Cons of Rayon
Negative Aspects of Bamboo Fiber
Cons: The manufacturing process is highly toxic. It is a complex process to turn plant cellulose into a usable fabric. Some of these chemicals include carbon disulfide and caustic soda. These chemicals can be very destructive when released into the local ecosystem.
Positive Aspects of Bamboo Fiber
Pros: Bamboo fabric production requires more bamboo plants to be grown. The environmental impact of bamboo plant cultivation is much less than cotton cultivation. It also reduces the need to synthetic fibers that have a reputation for causing environmental pollution.
The FTC recently issued a warning to major retailers in the US, such as Wal-Mart and Target, to stop labeling Rayon products as bamboo. Readh the Bamboo Rayon warning article.