There's a reason why we choose bamboo to create our incredible bedding.
We're often asked why we believe bamboo is the ultimate material for our bedding. For us, it's simple. When we were searching for a material to create our bed linen we had several key criteria that it had to fulfil.
Firstly, it had to be sustainable. Cotton is simply too resource-intensive and damaging to the planet to mass-produce. But sustainability isn't enough on its own. It had to be better than cotton bedding. It should provide a better night's sleep or it would be difficult to convince anyone to switch. So we wanted to find a material that was not only better for the environment but also softer, more hygienic, great for the skin and durable. Enter bamboo.
Bamboo is still not often considered when compared to a lot of the mass-market textiles that are commonly found in homes. We strongly believe that will soon change. Here's why.
The term sustainability is thrown around a lot these days and many brands claim to offer more environmentally friendly products. It can be hard to choose those that are actually sustainable and crucially, why.
Bamboo is an incredible plant and it has a few unique features that allow to it be considered a sustainable material.
High growth rate
It is uniquely tall and incredible fast-growing. Not many people know it's a type of grass that covers between 1-and 3% of all tropical and subtropical areas. It's the fastest-growing of all tropical plants and astonishingly it grows up to three feet in just one day. Because bamboo has such a high growth rate means it can yield far more than cotton using the same amount of land. Just one acre of land can yield between 12-and 18 tons of dry bamboo fibre. On the other hand, one acre of land yields just approximately 0.5 tons of cotton.
Minimal water usage
Cotton is an incredibly water-intensive crop to grow and requires vast amounts of water even before the production process begins. The average amount of water used globally to produce just 1kg of cotton is around 10,000 litres. Astonishingly, the water required to produce India's cotton exports would be enough to supply 85% of the country's 1.24 billion people with 100 litres of water every day for a year. Bamboo on the other hand is far less water-intensive and often can flourish on rainfall alone.
No pesticides or insecticides
Bamboo is an incredibly resilient and hardy crop when compared to cotton, and as a result, requires zero pesticides or insecticides to grow. Recent studies found that while cotton covers just 2.4% of cultivated land globally it uses 6% of the world's pesticides and 16% of insecticides, more than any other single major crop. Pesticides are a global killer, around 500 people die per day from acute pesticide poisoning with an estimated 385 million non-fatal cases annually worldwide. Because bamboo requires neither of these, farmers don't need to spend large portions of their income on pesticides and those living nearby are safe from the dangers of pesticide use.
Combating climate change
Bamboo is one of the most important plants in combating climate change due to the high bamboo biomass stocks and carbon storage. It offers one of the quickest ways to remove vast amounts of that CO2 from the atmosphere. Studies have found that above-ground carbon stock (that is carbon stored in biomass above the ground) of Moso bamboo is around 25 to 32 tonnes per hectare, making it one of the most efficient plants for storing carbon.
It also generates up to 25% more oxygen than other forestry types. One hectare of bamboo can sequester up to 62 t of CO2 per year, whereas the equivalent young forest sequesters 15 t of CO2 per year.
Soil loss is a global environmental issue, almost a third of the world's soil is degraded. This has a serious impact on local communities by reducing their productive land for crop growth or habitation. Where the soil has become widely eroded, landslides and flash floods pose immediate risks to those living nearby.
The annual replanting of crops such as cotton contributes to rampant soil erosion. Traditional cotton farming causes a dramatic reduction in soil biodiversity due to the vast amounts of pesticides used in the growing process.
It has been proven that bamboo plays an important protective role in soil conservation. It provides a cheap, natural and very effective solution for preventing soil erosion and can help preserve a wide variety of terrains. Bamboo is able to do this due to its long root systems that can bind the soil together and prevent further erosion. Remarkably, one bamboo plant can bind up to six cubic metres of dirt. One key factor is that bamboo plants are cut and not uprooted when they are harvested. This means that it can regrow for regular harvesting without destabilising the soil.
Studies have also shown bamboo has the ability to increase soil fertility, owing to a large amount of organic matter that falls in the form of its leaves as it grows.
Premium bamboo bed linen that is properly made has an incredible uniquely soft texture: one that is silky while not slippery, it's supple, not stretchy and feels thick without being heavy. Our bedding is made from Moso bamboo, and it's thanks to this particular plant's amazing properties that our sheets are as soft as they are.
Firstly, Moso bamboo fibres have a much higher staple length compared to cotton. The main benefit of this is that manufacturers can use a special technique to weave the bamboo threads together. Using this technique, the bamboo threads span the entire length of the sheet. This means that every individual bamboo thread lies flat next to the adjacent thread making for an incredibly soft feel. Conversely, traditional bedding uses far more shorter threads in a single row. Over time, because there are loose thread ends in the sheets they begin to become loose in the weave. This causes friction and is why traditional bedding becomes rougher and rougher over time.
Moso bamboo plants produce incredible strong fibres, in fact, a single fibre has the tensile strength of steel. Because the threads are far stronger, it also means they are far less likely to break, ruining the smooth weave. It's also the reason why our bamboo sheets are super durable, meaning they will last for far longer than traditional bedding. On top of this, bamboo bed sheets keep getting softer and softer over time.
Bamboo is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Microbial growth thrives in environments that are high in temperature and moisture, and as a result, when you sweat at night you help create ideal conditions for unwelcome bacteria. Studies have shown bamboo possesses a natural antimicrobial agent that is commonly known as "bamboo kun". A test performed by the China Industrial Testing Center in 2003 discovered some incredible results when testing the antibacterial properties of bamboo fibre. The test involved incubating bamboo fabric for 24 hours with the staphylococcus aureus bacteria. After 24 hours, they measured the bacteria and found that the fabric had eliminated 99.8% of the bacteria.
The result is, that bamboo bedding has an incredible ability to stay fresher for longer and prevent odour by inhibiting microbial growth meaning you get a healthier and better night's sleep.
Bamboo bed linen is naturally hypoallergenic making it the perfect choice for those of us with allergies and sensitive skin. Because bamboo rayon is made without harmful chemical pesticides and insecticides, it's considered to be hypoallergenic. Compare this to traditional cheap cotton sheets which are almost always treated with harsh chemicals. Cotton is also very absorbent, so as you sweat it becomes trapped in the fibre, which helps create the perfect environment for bacteria, dust mites and other allergens. Bamboo on the other hand isn't absorbent like cotton and wicks away moisture from your bed. Removing moisture from the environment helps prevent dust mites and bacteria from multiplying in your bedding, significantly reducing your allergies.
Maintaining a consistent body temperature is essential to getting a full and proper nights rest. According to the Sleep Foundation the optimal room temperature for sleep is around 18.3 degrees Celsius. Throughout the day your body's internal temperature shifts, this is known as your circadian rhythm. Your body naturally begins to cool around bedtime, reaching it's lowest point around 5AM before starting to climb throughout the morning. Anything that raises your body temperature too much during sleep can impact your ability to getting a proper nights rest.
Traditional cotton bed sheets are moisture absorbing, which means they trap any moisture they come in contact with and retain it in the fabric structure. So when you sweat during the night, it saturates the cotton which can irritate the skin and cause you wake up damp.
On the other hand, our bamboo bedding is moisture wicking which means it naturally wicks moisture away from the skin, forcing it to the surface of the fabric where it evaporates. Bamboo has the amazing ability to reduce moisture in your bed by up to 50% when compared to cotton. The result is you're kept cooler and dry all night long, giving you an amazing nights rest. No more kicking the duvet off the bed.
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