Bamboo has many more pros than cons, and the disadvantages have to do with the way the fabric is processed and made. On the plus side, bamboo fabric is thermo-regulatory, which means it’s cooling in the summer yet warming in the winter. In hot weather, it wicks moisture, so it pulls perspiration off your body and onto the fabric, where it evaporates. Yes, please!
Bamboo has antibacterial properties, meaning you can wash your bamboo garments slightly less often than your other clothes. And, it protects from the sun, filtering out 97.5% of UV rays. As noted, it’s exceptionally soft and doesn’t wrinkle much, making it perfect for t-shirts, loungewear, pajamas, and sheets. You can harvest bamboo without uprooting it, it’s usually grown without pesticides, uses less water, and does less damage than cotton crops.
Now time for the cons. Bamboo clothes can shrink, so wash them in a cold water gentle cycle, then line dry. It can be pricier than cotton. Unfortunately, what most people are buying is usually bamboo rayon. The author of London streetwear company blog Cariki noted, “Sadly, bamboo rayon is produced through a highly intensive chemical process that is incredibly bad for the environment.” Similarly, bamboo viscose is wood pulp — it can be processed mechanically, which is great, or chemically, which requires the use of caustic soda and carbon disulfide, both toxic to our health.