I am wearing one of my bamboo t-shirts (bought in Kauai) today. We are having an extraordinary heat wave, but the HVAC in my building is finally working well again. I wanted something to wear without freezing at work and that wouldn’t make me overheated when I went outside and home.
I love the drape of bamboo and I love how “green” growing bamboo is. I love the feel of microfiber, especially in sleepwear. I’ve been doing more reading lately though, and the processing as things like bamboo are made into fabrics can negate all the gains:
Bamboo (like to article): Bamboo receives lots of eco-buzz because it’s easy to grow without pesticides and is quick to replenish itself. Another bonus – or so bamboo marketers insist – is that bamboo fabric is naturally antibacterial and repels odour. It’s when the processing starts that it potentially loses its eco status: “Bamboo can be beautiful, and is a very soft fabric, but there’s a chemical component to the manufacture that’s pretty toxic,” says Grand.
Hemp (same article): Hemp has been touted as the ultimate eco-friendly fabric because it requires no chemicals to grow. It’s also extremely versatile, and can be used to create strong, sturdy fabrics – even rope – or soft, delicate items (think comfy pajamas or a soft nightgown). Hemp is unfortunately not very well-regulated, which means there’s little monitoring of the chemicals the crop may have come in contact with or where it was grown. The claim that it’s antibacterial, similar to claims about bamboo, has also yet to be fully authenticated and might be more about marketing than truth.