Bamboo is one of the fastest growing, highest yielding and low input crops on earth. It is now used for a whole range of things, including textiles.
However, organic cotton is hot on its heels and there are a few reasons why you might want to choose organic cotton over bamboo for your clothing.
Organic cotton is easy to grow and ready to go
In its natural form bamboo is quite hard and so turning it into a wearable fabric is an intensive process that requires crushing, pulping, lots of water and the use of heavy chemicals to break it down.
While making clothes from the resulting bamboo fibre is better than using synthetics, people often don’t consider how intensive the manufacturing process can be when calling something “eco-friendly”.
Organic cotton production involves replacing man-made pesticides and fertilisers with natural ones such manure. Methods of crop rotation and mixed planting help to maintain a healthy crop whilst protecting the surrounding environment.
So, despite needing lots of water to grow, organic cotton is pretty much ready to spin straight off the plant without the use of lots of chemicals. If cotton is grown in a very wet place, such as Northern India where they get monsoons, then it can be grown in bountiful amounts with little impact.
Organic cotton makes for soft and durable clothing
In terms of quality it must be said that cotton is superior, and organic cotton even more so!
It is common for the fibres in bamboo to be very soft, but also fairly weak and stretchy. This means that bamboo t-shirts will quickly stretch and look very unflattering. With most bamboo clothing items, the bamboo fibres will be mixed either with cotton or with some plastic fibres to give it more strength.
In comparison organic cotton makes strong fibres, meaning products can be made solely from the cotton and will both retain their shape longer than bamboo and be just as comfy.
For those looking for printed t-shirts, organic cotton is the ideal choice. Cotton has always held colour well and is an ideal material for printing both for bags and for t-shirts.
When looking for printed organic cotton clothing, make sure you choose a manufacturer who is FSC and GOTs certified as this will show you that they are striving to meet high standards of operation and sustainability. Environmentally friendly inks are used by many manufacturers, which give the same high-quality finish without compromising environmental impact.