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Here are some answers to common questions about bamboo products.

 

Are your products 100% bamboo fibre or is there cotton mixed in?

 

Our bed sheets are 100% natural bamboo viscose and our  towels are 70% natural bamboo viscose and 30% cotton.  70% is enough for all the technical elements to work very strongly.  Plus, it just has a better ‘feel’ or handle in this mix and it’s necessary to bring you the best possible product we can.  The jersey has about 5% lycra thrown in for a little extra ‘give’ when moving around.
 
What are you doing to minimise environmental impact?
 
The inherent natural growth pattern of bamboo, which requires no pesticides or fertilizers and has a massive yield per acre and is probably the most sustainable crop in the world, and the massively net positive carbon impact of the process as a whole (with the tree planting program) greatly reduces ienvironmental impact. also our bamboo partner specializes in the research, development and application of new, eco-friendly textiles.  We adhere to ISO14000, an ethically principled environmental management standard (as well as the international quality management standard, ISO9000).
 
Is it ok to wash bamboo clothing normally?  Does it lose its special qualities?
 
Yes, you can wash Bambooku products with everything else just like cotton – though we do recommend cool to warm water, according to regular washing instructions.  Our products can also be ironed without any worries.  Please note bamboo clothing’s excellent water absorbency is best retained without the use of softeners.
 
Does bamboo shrink?
 
Shrinkage is slightly higher in bamboo than cotton, approximately 10% for bed sheets and up to 12% for towels. We give our products a little extra material to compensate for shrinkage though, so it’s all accounted for.
 
Where is your bamboo grown?
 
Our bamboo is grown in China.  As bamboo becomes more popular we hope other countries will begin to grow bamboo specifically for fabrics.
 
What species of bamboo is used for your products?  Where is it grown?
 
The species of bamboo our yarn comes from is Phyllostachys pubescens – Moso bamboo.  Our bamboo is grown principally in the Yunnan Province in China.  Historically in the region, it’s most commonly grown for construction purposes and the edible bamboo shoots.
 
What part of the bamboo plant is used to generate fibres used in your clothing, and how is it processed?
 
The Bamboo is crushed and pulped and then its natural cellulose, which contains the bamboo ‘kun’, is extracted to make fibre. The viscose is regenerated into a fibre that’s like cotton in appearance, but much softer.  It’s then spun into yarn (like with most Bamboo products, it’s often mixed with 30% cotton or organic cotton at this stage).  We experimented with different mixes and found the most satisfying mix with the best ‘handle’ was 70%bamboo fibre and 30% cotton.  From the yarn, it’s then knitted (or woven now as well) into fabric.
 
What are your employment ethics?
 
Bambooku is ethically sound.  The founder, regularly visits our friends and partners and with a wide and long experience of factories, understands what’s required to do things the right way.  We make our bed sheets and clothing in Bali, with standard wages and excellent conditions.  We do things the right way because we actually want to do things the right way, not to jump through hoops to get this or that certification.  This brand was set up specifically to do better and to be more inspiring; it’s the whole driving force behind what we do.  For the record though, here’s the facts and figures.  Our garment factory exceeds all SA8000 conditions.  SA8000 is based on international workplace norms in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions and the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on Rights of the Child.
 
Its charter is summarised here:
  • Child Labour: No workers under the age of 15; minimum lowered to 14 for countries operating under the ILO Convention 138 developing-country exception; remediation of any child found to be working
  • Forced Labour: No forced labour, including prison or debt bondage labour; no lodging of deposits or identity papers by employers or outside recruiters
  • Health and Safety: Provide a safe and healthy work environment; take steps to prevent injuries; regular health and safety worker training; system to detect threats to health and safety; access to bathrooms and potable water
  • Freedom of Association and Right to Collective Bargaining: Respect the right to form and join trade unions and bargain collectively; where law prohibits these freedoms, facilitate parallel means of association and bargaining
  • Discrimination: No discrimination based on race, caste, origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union or political affiliation, or age; no sexual harassment
  • Discipline: No corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion or verbal abuse
  • Working Hours: Comply with the applicable law but, in any event, no more than 48 hours per week with at least one day off for every seven day period; voluntary overtime paid at a premium rate and not to exceed 12 hours per week on a regular basis; overtime may be mandatory if part of a collective bargaining agreement
  • Compensation: Wages paid for a standard work week must meet the legal and industry standards and be sufficient to meet the basic need of workers and their families; no disciplinary deductions
  • Management Systems: Facilities seeking to gain and maintain certification must go beyond simple compliance to integrate the standard into their management systems and practices.

 

What about the pandas?

Are you taking their natural habitats away from them?

 

In short, no!  That wouldn’t be very good for an ethical brand, would it….  Our bamboo is planted and grown as a crop, so it’s extra on top of what exists naturally.  As a general point, it’s true that panda habitats have been shrinking over the years with general urban and other land use encroachment, but the Chinese Government is quite earnest in its desire to maintain what’s left and the remaining giant bamboo forests are now far better protected.

 

 

 

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