First of all, bamboo is very easy to grow. It grows quickly without any pesticides, fertilizers, or a lot of water. Because they grow so fast, they can be harvested for timber and regrown quickly. They release more oxygen into the air than typical plants do. Their growth improves the soil around them. Because of these properties, it is a good wood replacement.
It is a hardy and durable wood and is an attractive option for housing, and is accepted by green people because it can be regrown easily.
It is used in “green clothing” because its fiber produces a very soft, cotton like material which naturally draws moisture away from the skin. However, it is a rather laborious process to make clothing fiber out of bamboo.
Many people love bamboo because it is the fastest growing “wood” plant in the world. It has been measured to grow as fast as 47.6 inches in a 24-hour period. Because of this and the fact that it can grow almost anywhere, it is seen as a sustainable and cheap resource. Bamboo is also very strong and can withstand a lot of dammage, and when laminated can be as strong as steel. It is also very distinctive, elegant, and subtle making it an attractive building material.
In addition to the laborious process of turning bamboo into cloth fibers, the sustainability aspect of bamboo can easily get lost along the way. When bamboo is transformed into fabrics, there are usually a lot of chemicals added to it. Green people can easily be deceived by the ‘made from bamboo’ label.
I agree with tigerlily, “green” people who love bamboo likely do not know all the chemical processes it must go through to become a good fabric fiber. That being said, there are a lot of industrial steps for most fibers, so people feel good about things like organic cotton and bamboo because they know they are renewable, whereas polyester and nylon are not. Additionally, bamboo clothing aslo generally states that it has natural antibiotic properties, so I wouldn’t doubt if that was quite a draw as well.
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