Organic Bamboo Washcloths that Plant Trees While You Wash
By Georgette Kilgore | Updated on September 15, 2021
Bamboo has become an environmental superhero for its highly sustainable versatility, and believe it or not, this fast growing plant is being used to make all sorts of things nowadays, including luxurious fabrics and bamboo washcloths!
However, incredibly soft pillows, sheets, clothes and bamboo washcloths are just the beginning.
In addition to treating yourself to comfy-ness, organic bamboo washcloths can actually help save existing trees and ecosystems, as well as the animals that live in them! How? Because this eco-friendly material doesn’t require land to be cleared for it to grow (like some other natural fabrics), when used as an alternative, it saves the existing trees that grow there from being cut down.
But, there’s another way Bamboo can plant trees… keep reading…
Keeping your skin healthy impacts your overall health1 because it helps prevent you from getting sick. That’s why switching to organic bamboo washcloths can benefit both you and the planet in amazing ways. Not only are they one of the gentlest materials you can use on your face, the fabric is naturally antibacterial, making it more effective than other materials at keeping your skin clean, clear and healthy.
But, the benefits of bamboo aren’t just ‘skin deep.’ These washcloths actually help preserve, protect and replace trees. And, depending on which one you buy, you can even support the planting of new trees and rehabilitate wildlife with your purchase.
Many People Wonder: What Are 100% Bamboo Washcloths?
Many materials make soft and effective washcloths including bamboo, silk, cotton, or muslin. But, bamboo has some properties that these others do not. When bamboo fibers are processed into fabric, they create a hypoallergenic, breathable, fluffy and soft material that’s great at preventing dangerous dust mite buildup, mildew, and bacteria, and is also far more comfortable than generic cotton or synthetic fibers.
A bamboo washcloth can help you achieve and foster glowing, soft skin using natural materials. Some of the benefits include:
- Reduce bacteria leading to acne
- Brighten your glow and tighten pores through gentle exfoliation and deep cleaning
- Eliminate oils without over drying
How Are They Made?
To make fabric from bamboo, there is a three-part process according to Sewport, a garment production platform:4
- Extract the fibers
- Soak the Fibers
- Spin the Fibers
Sustainable Certification Standards
Bamboo is an incredibly fast-growing plant, which is why it is considered “certified” sustainable when it is farmed and harvested ethically. According to Global Organic Textile Standard5 other important factors involved in the certification of sustainable products include social criteria, ethical business behavior, and environmental management.
You can also check to see if the company is carbon neutral if you want to reduce your carbon footprint. So, when buying, check to make sure the fabric meets those standards.
What Is the Best Fabric for Your Skin?
Both bamboo and cotton washcloths will get the job done, but bamboo wins on the luxury meter, according to many users. This is because the feeling of it on your skin is luxurious, and it has a few added benefits.
In the end, your choice is a matter of taste.
If you’re looking for thickness and plushness, cotton is your best bet, but for softness, bamboo is the winner. It may be counterintuitive when you think of a fluffy raw cotton ball in the field versus a bamboo shoot’s hard, hollowed-out stems, but once raw fibers are turned into washcloths, bamboo beats cotton by a long shot when it comes to a soft texture.
Because the texture is softer, bamboo fabric is also more gentle on your skin, which will help with anti-aging and acne. In addition, bamboo is more absorbent than cotton, making it the best for wicking moisture at bath time.
In this video, you can see their moisture absorbing properties are vastly different:
Plus, cotton requires a large, cleared area of land for growing, which in some ways contributes to deforestation. However, bamboo is a sustainable plant that can even grow up to four feet in one day! This is just an added benefit of feeling eco-conscious while using a luxurious material.
Cleaning: Why You Should Stay Away from Microfiber Washcloths
Many people choose microfiber towels to wash their face. But, washcloths, no matter the material, can harbor and grow harmful microbes.3 Leaving them out for reuse, and not letting them fully dry in between washes, fosters the spread of bacteria, which can be bad for skin and cause breakouts.
Fortunately, bamboo is a naturally antimicrobial material, which actually helps kill germs! This means that you won’t need as many washcloths to make it through the week, they won’t harbor bacteria, and they will help clean existing bacteria from your skin instead of depositing more.
Plus, microfiber towels are extremely bad for the planet. Microfiber is actually made of plastic, and it’s non-recyclable. Every time you wash a microfiber cloth, you’re likely introducing microplastics into the water and subsequently, the environment. If you have to make a choice between going without a washcloth and a microfiber washcloth, many environmentalists suggest using your hands to wash your face.
In this video, you can learn more about microfiber as a fabric:
Best, Softest Baby Washcloths
If you are wondering what to get for your next baby shower gift, bamboo baby washcloths make great presents for moms-to-be.
When determining what type of cloth to choose for a baby, take into consideration special needs such as sensitive skin, color dyes and hypoallergenic options. It’s always a good idea to look for organic washcloths and manufactures who don’t use harmful chemicals in production.
Plus, cheap baby washcloths won’t provide value for the money. However, nice ones can be used long after your baby needs them. So, don’t throw them out. When their original use is done, take those baby wash rags and turn them into house rags, polishing cloths or other utility cloths.
The Importance of Choosing an Eco-friendly Bamboo Source for Your Soft Washcloths
Sewport states that while there are various processes to produce bamboo textiles, the majority of bamboo fabric produced is bamboo viscose, which is not preferred due to the toxic chemicals used in processing as well as a large amount of waste.4 Look instead for bamboo products created with a “closed loop” manufacturing process. One that “doesn’t chemically alter the structure of the cellulose that is used, which results in a fabric that can be considered purely organic.”4
It is especially good if the supplier you choose recognizes and offsets their carbon footprint from production. Here are a few terms to look for when shopping for eco-conscious options:
- Carbon Neutral Product
- Supports Animal Rehabilitation
- Recycled & Post Consumer Products
- Chemical Free
- Supports Planting of New Trees
- Supports Conservation of Existing Trees
- Not Tested on Animals
While not all of these terms may specifically apply to bamboo products, these and similar phrases can help indicate production values.
Going Beyond the Material
With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to discern which is the best. Choosing the right material is just one aspect of choosing an eco-friendly cloth, but there are other things to look for when buying.
Some companies go above and beyond, providing carbon removal offsets with their products. The best carbon offset providers offer verification through various GHG registries to provide real reductions in greenhouse gasses by reducing, avoiding or (even better) eliminating carbon dioxide. This means that the product you buy will mitigate any harmful greenhouse gases that were emitted during its production… leaving a greener planet.
It may seem hard to believe that making just a small change in your linen closet can have such a big impact on the planet. But, evidence has proven that when everyone takes a series of small steps, together we can reverse the damage to our environment and restore our dwindling global resources. And, buying organic bamboo washcloths is a great place to start.
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1U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Healthy Skin Matters. Retrieved May 27, 2021, from niams.nih.gov: https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/kids/healthy-skin
2Cohn, L. (2017, July 4). 2.Is this everyday item the secret to Duchess Kate’s glowing skin? Retrieved May 27, 2021, from Today.com: https://www.today.com/style/former-kate-middleton-s-skincare-secret-face-flannels-t113348
3Cleveland Clinic. (2019, January 16). 3How Often Should You Wash Your (Germ Magnet of a) Bath Towel? Retrieved May 27, 2021, from health.clevelandclinic.org: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-often-should-you-wash-your-germ-magnet-of-a-bath-towel/
4Sewport Support Team. (n.d.). 4What is Bamboo Fabric: Properties, How its Made and Where. Retrieved May 27, 2021, from sewport.com: https://sewport.com/fabrics-directory/bamboo-fabric
5GLOBAL ORGANIC TEXTILE STANDARD. (n.d.). 5 MANUFACTURING. Retrieved May 27, 2021, from Global-standard.org: https://global-standard.org/certification-and-labelling/who-needs-to-be-certified/manufacturing