Bamboo Clothing Benefits - Natural Fibre Clothing
Natural fibre clothing no longer means itchy materials and unflattering fits and colours. There is a growing market for top-quality clothing that comes with many lasting and convincing benefits that will help you make that switch today. Not only for your own personal benefits like health and comfort, but also the environmental and economical benefits.
It’s only been the past 50 years that man-made synthetic fabrics such as polyester, acrylic and nylon have taken over the market for clothing. Mainly because it is easier to manufacture them in bulk, to create identical colours and lengths, and can be adjusted according to specific requirements for production.
However, in the short and long term, natural fibres benefit both the environment and economy. Natural fibres are renewable, carbon neutral, biodegradable and counteract with reduced production costs as natural fibres can be used to generate electricity or make ecological housing material.
Natural fibre fabrics are full of great benefits for the wearer:
- Natural fibres look and feel good
- The fibres are tightly woven, yet extremely breathable and soft
- They do not cling to the body reducing the risk of skin rashes and allergic reaction
- They're chemical and toxin-free
- They're lightweight, yet provide warmth and protection.
- Natural fibres are biodegradable
- Have anti-bacterial properties
- Natural resistance to mites and fungus
Natural fibers are extracted from both plant and animals - a free and unlimited source of materials. Below is an extensive list of sources for natural fibre clothing (compared to the minimal list of synthetic materials acetate, acrylic, nylon, spandex, rayon, and polyester).
Plant fibers for clothing include:
- Cotton - cotton is the world's most widely used natural fibre and still the undisputed "king" of the global textiles industry
- Flax - One of nature's strongest vegetable fibres, flax was also one of the first to be harvested, spun and woven into textiles
- Hemp - Recent advances in the "cottonisation" of hemp fibre could open the door to the high quality clothing market
- Jute - The strong threads made from jute fibre are used worldwide in sackcloth
- Ramie - Ramie fibre is white, with a silky luster, and is one of the strongest natural fibres, similar to flax in absorbency and density
- Bamboo - Bamboo fibre is highly sustainable and produced without the use of dangerous toxic chemicals and no polluting residues
- Animal fibers for clothing include:
- Alpaca wool - Alpaca is used to make high-end luxury fabrics, with world production estimated at around 5 000 tonnes a year
- Angora wool - The silky white wool of the Angora rabbit is very fine and soft, and used in high quality knitwear
- Cashmere - Cashmere is exceptionally soft to the touch owing to the structure of its fibres and has great insulation properties without being bulky
- Mohair - White, very fine and silky, mohair is noted for its softness, brightness and receptiveness to rich dyes
- Wool - Unlimited supply and exceptional characteristics have made wool the world's premier textile fibre
Each fibre has its own purpose in manufacturing, and provides better quality and more sustainable textiles than synthetic materials.
Synthetic fibers, although inexpensive to produce, causes more harm to the economy in the long-run. Synthetic fibres are taking over and for many small-scale farmers their livelihoods and food security is at stake. Inexpensive synthetic materials even though it’s generally lower quality to natural fibre materials still manage to drive small-scale farmers out of the market, because they cannot compete with the low prices.
Making the switch to natural fibre production, processing and export such as bamboo textiles is vital for the support of the economies of many developing countries and the livelihoods of millions of small-scale farmers and low-wage workers.