I recently discovered the eco gorgeousness that is bamboo clothing after reading, and being shocked to the core by, the book Killer Clothes: How seemingly innocent clothing choices can endanger your health…and how to protect yourself by Anna Maria and Brian Clement.
I wrote about this book, and how it has changed my life, here.
Since reading it, I’ve been scouring the web researching UK companies that provide organic clothing in natural fibres, and that use only the safest, most natural dyes. And the upshot is that while it’s very easy to find baby clothes, pickings are kinda slim for older children and adults. However, I have found two companies I highly recommend, so wanted to tell you about those. Both of them offer bamboo clothing and here are just some of the benefits of bamboo:
- Highly breathable – your skin is a major organ of elimination and the synthetic fibres most clothing is made from hinder it in its all-important job of releasing toxins.
- SO soft and comfortable next to the skin. When I first heard of bamboo clothing, I thought of the tough stalks pandas chow down on and assumed it must be like wearing a hessian sack. As I can’t stand itchy, uncomfortable clothes this really put me off. I’m so glad I looked more closely, as bamboo fabric is truly the softest, most comfortable I’ve ever worn.
- Perfect for sensitive or allergy-prone skin.
- Keeps you warm in the cold.
- Keeps you cool in the heat as it’s so breathable.
- Keeps you dry due to its moisture ‘wicking’ properties. It is 3-4 times more absorbent than cotton and ‘wicks’ away moisture from the body, which then evaporates.
- Keeps you fresh as it’s naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and odour-resistant.
- Hard wearing and long lasting.
- Grown without pesticides (unlike most cotton).
- 100% biodegradable.
- Improves soil quality.
- In other words, good for your body and the planet as it’s so natural, sustainable and eco-friendly.
The best UK-based bamboo clothing company I’ve discovered is Bamboo Clothing Ltd. It sells the BAM range, which is carbon neutral and has basics for both men and women (though unfortunately not children) including pants, socks, T shirts, camisoles, leggings and “base layers” (starting at £32.50 – snug, fitted tops in a variety of colours that I’ve been wearing with everything in the colder weather. Going out in just this one thin layer I feel lovely and warm – most unusual for me – and these are also designed to be ideal for skiing and other outdoor sports).
These tops are great with jeans, but the fit and quality is so good they don’t look out of place dressed up either.
BAM clothes are 70% bamboo viscose and 30% organic cotton. 70% is enough to get all of the above “technical” benefits of this fabric. But the eco fashionista must consider not only fabric, but also dyes, and BAM uses “the lowest impact dyes that are available on the market to achieve the required results, conforming to the European standard, Oeko-tex.”
These are the softest, most comfortable clothes I’ve ever worn – a complete revelation! I was such a fan of this company after receiving my first order, that I ordered again….and then again. Each time, customer service has been first class.
And they have even been kind enough to give me a code that gets YOU 10% off. Just visit the website, key in the word “Joy” when paying for your order, and know that if you’re anything like me, that is what you’ll feel when it arrives at your door!
I discovered the London-based organic bamboo and cotton yoga clothing company Asquith in my search for eco leggings and trousers (the BAM range does feature leggings, but currently only size 16-18 for women). A big thanks to friend and fellow blogger Anna Rodgers, creator of the amazing Miss Eco Glam site, for the recommendation. I found just what I was looking for, customer service was again excellent, and I’m also delighted with the clothes.
No, none of this is cheap. But just like with conventional food, although the price tag might show a “bargain”, it’s short-sighted to think we can afford the hidden costs to our health and the environment.
These are clothes that are made to last, based on a philosophy that is wisely and diametrically opposed to that of our throw-away high-street clothing culture.
Go here to read about what led me to transition my wardrobe to natural/organic, and my musings on high-street fashion versus eco style.