Bamboo is NOT a fiber

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

bamboo stalk On Twitter I came across a Tweet on Jan 4, 2011 that stated “Let's make 2011 the year of the bamboo” by a company selling bamboo fiber towels and other textiles.

Let's get one thing clear; bamboo is neither a fiber plant not hardwood. It is a grass that grows to enormous height and diameter for a grass but it is not a fiber nor wood.

In order to make textiles from bamboo viscose has to be created first, in the same way as if you wanted to made cloth from most wood. So, please, let's get back into the realm of reality and realize that making cloth from bamboo is not green; not one iota.

Those companies that make claims as to bamboo being a replacement for hardwood flooring, etc. or a great green fiber are practicing some of the worst kind of greenwashing and engage in nothing but lies.

Bamboo is neither a replacement for hardwood flooring in (1) that it is in no way as hard and hard-wearing as is, oak, for instance and (2) it is also NOT green as the manufacture of bamboo flooring requires lots of energy and glues, not is bamboo a green fiber for clothing.

When bamboo is used in its more or less “natural” state in the countries where it is being use traditionally, such as China, Japan, etc., then it is a great material and products made in that way are fine.

Claiming, however, bamboo as a green replacement for hardwood flooring or for clothing fiber or as covers for computers, etc., is all but lies and greenwashing and it is time that the green media stop falling for such claims and that we educated the green consumer properly about bamboo.

© 2011