Men’s clothing has long been associated with only a handful of fabrics - cotton, linen, silk, twill, etc. But one fabric has been slowly and steadily gaining a huge following through word of mouth thanks to its collection of benefits. In fact, there are so many benefits that it’s almost like someone took the best of all other fabrics and combined them into a single fabric. I’m referring to bamboo. Bamboo clothing is now one of the fastest growing markets thanks to its comfort, durability, and sustainability, amongst others. Let’s take a look at just what makes bamboo pretty awesome for clothing and why Navas Lab Apparel uses it specifically for our active wear.
6 Reasons Bamboo Makes Great Clothing Material
What are the benefits of bamboo clothing? Here are 6 of the top reasons it makes great clothing material.
Bamboo is no doubt one of the softest, most hypo-allergenic fabrics out there, and above all the other benefits, this is the one that comes to mind first for many people. Its softness allows it to maintain its shape over time, helping reduce wrinkles. When you put on a Navas Lab hoody you can feel how nice that fabric is against your skin, making our clothing enjoyable to wear.
What type of bamboo is used for clothing? It is often rayon, a textile made from cellulose, which has been made from the inner parts of the bamboo plant’s trunk. If you’ve never felt a bamboo plant before, that trunk is very strong compared to many other plants out there, and this strength is still in place after all the transformations for the material to become clothing. Bamboo clothing is highly regarded for its durability and ability to last long without damage. With proper care and cleaning a Navas Lab apparel piece should last you through seasons of sport.
Bamboo clothing is also known for its ability to be thermoregulating, which basically means maintaining a stable temperature. For you, it means that bamboo clothing warms you up when you’re cool and cools you down when you’re warm. Staying warm in winter and cool in summer means that bamboo clothing is a great choice year-round. We know our clients don't just stick to one sport, you need an outfit that carries you through a chilly morning run and is still good for afternoon beach volleyball.
Bamboo also contains a number of antibacterial properties. It’s ability to moisture wick and draw moisture from the skin helps keep you dry as well as reduce odors. Particularly if you sweat a lot, you will likely notice a difference when wearing bamboo clothing than, say, cotton clothing. Again perfect for our goal of getting you an outfit that you wear before and after a major active event.
Your skin is always at risk of UV damage from the sun’s rays. Most clothing out there still allows the sun to get through, meaning your skin has a higher chance of being damaged. Bamboo clothing however contains UV protectant properties, reflecting back the sun’s rays and protecting the skin. Often in the clothing making process additional materials are added to enhance this property as well. Anyone who has played a dozen sets at the beach knows your cotton t-shirt only does so much to keep your skin healthy.
Geared Toward Activewear
With its antibacterial properties, the moisture wicking ability, breathability, durability, and comfort for your skin, it’s no wonder that bamboo clothing is particularly suited to the world of activewear, and its thermal regulating properties make it ideal for using in your workouts year-round.
How Is Bamboo Made Into Clothing?
The main way bamboo is made into fabric is through a process similar to this:
- Crush the woody parts of the bamboo plant to make a pulpy mass
- Combine the bamboo pulp with enzymes to break down the pulp further into a mush
- Separate the natural fibers from the mush
- Spin the fibers into textiles
Bamboo can be combined with a variety of additional materials to enhance its natural qualities, or to add additional benefits. Common fibers combined with bamboo include:
At Navas Labs we take particular care in selecting partners that use excellent processes in textile manufacturing to both reduce environmental impact and provide a high quality of material for us to make into clothes. It's that attention to detail that helps us win your support as we introduce this fabric to the world.
Environmental Benefits of Bamboo
It’s becoming more apparent that the clothes you wear didn’t just start with you - they have been on a considerable journey to get into your hands. It is important then that the clothes you wear have been manufactured in sustainable ways, ways that won’t do long term damage to the planet. The Oeko-Text 100 certification is a great way to be confident in the quality of your bamboo clothing from a sustainability perspective.
This certification basically regulates how the textiles produced interact with chemicals, and how much chemicals can be found in them. In order to receive this certification manufacturers must demonstrate compliance with many tests at various stages of production. These tests include things such as how they interact with the raw materials and how the waste is disposed of and demonstrating that there are no trace chemicals that can pose harm to a human in the end result.
Many of the partner companies that assist with the production of bamboo clothing also strive for sustainability by introducing closed loop systems, where by-products and waste are reduced to a minimum and recycled back into raw materials.
Other Uses For Bamboo
As bamboo clothing has come into popularity, some companies have started branching out from there - using bamboo to improve a variety of other products as well.
Technically clothing, socks made from bamboo can complete your active outfit. If using a Bamboo-Rayon blend you can get a sock that stays breathable, keeps your feet from smelling and retains its fiber structure even after several workout/wash cycles. If you want a suggestion for a sock company, hit us up on the Navas facebook page and we will be happy to give you some suggestions.
Ok, clearly Navas Lab doesn't carry sheets, but we are big believers in getting the best possible sleep. Everyone knows that the growth cycle is Stress plus Rest equal growth. Bamboo sheets just make that rest part a little easier.
The hypo-allergenic qualities of bamboo lend themselves particularly well to the bedroom, where you want the majority of the fabrics around to feel soft and kind to your skin. Bamboo is often used for duvet covers, bath towels, sheets, pillow cases, rugs, and more.
If you’ve never tried bamboo clothing before, hopefully this article has given you some food for thought and you will seek some out. Especially if you’re active, bamboo clothing is a great addition to your wardrobe.
Whether it’s helping your skin fight off the sun’s UV rays, wicking the sweat off and away from your body to keep you smelling good, or setting an example for sustainability, bamboo is a great material for clothing. As time passes more and more companies will be taking the approaches of bamboo clothing companies when it comes to re-evaluating their environmental footprint. You’re likely to see even more options for bamboo clothing appear in the near future. Here at Navas Labs we are sold on the idea that in fact, Bamboo is Pretty Awesome for Clothing.