Here's How Boody Uses Bamboo To Make Sustainable Underwear And Activewear
At the foundation of every fashion item are the materials used to make it. Depending on the item it is, various types of fabrics or materials can be used.
Nightwear and underwear brands like Noctu and Pico use organic cotton for their products, while fashion accessories brands, Alienina, and Elvis and Kresse, use climbing ropes and repurposed fire-hoses respectively for their products, and jewellery brand Article 22 uses shrapnel and scrap metal.
Boody is an underwear and activewear brand that caters to both male and female and creates sustainable pieces using organically-grown bamboo. Founded in Australia in 2012 by best friends, David Greenblo and Neil Midalia, Boody was launched to solve a problem its founders found in the market.
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In the market for the must-have basics, like underwear and socks, there was a need for both eco-friendly and healthy products, so, Boody's founders decided to fill that gap. With bamboo being one of the best plants to get sustainable fibres from and one of the few that contains antifungal and antibacterial properties, Boody decided to go with it.
All of Boody's items are made from bamboo viscose and are super-stretchy and soft to the touch. The bamboo fibre is also hypoallergenic and highly breathable and absorbent to leave the skin feeling good.
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The Making of Boody's Underwear and Activewear
The process for manufacturing Boody's products starts with the Bamboo plant.
- Their bamboo is grown without fertilizers or pesticides and requires no irrigation, only rainwater.
- Next, the green shoots from the bamboo plants are cut into chunks of raw bamboo.
- The bamboo is then soaked in a solution to soften it. The system is a closed-loop, this means that all liquid used is recycled and all solvents are captured and removed to ensure that the process is as eco-friendly as the bamboo itself.
- The bamboo then undergoes a dehydration process that allows for the extraction of the bamboo pulp which is then dried into flat sheets.
- When the bamboo sheets are completely dry, they are ground into a soft, feathery material.
- The soft, feathery material is then extruded and spun into a viscose yarn that is used to knit their garments. The garments are knitted in tubes resulting in very little fabric wastage.
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Boody, Sustainability and Giving Back
To make their processes more sustainable, Boody outsourced its bamboo production to a Chinese company, Hebei Jigao Chemical Fiber Company, that holds a patent in the processes for turning bamboo into yarn. All the bamboo is grown in accordance with the international organic standard of OCIA / IFOAM and the USDA National Organic Program, to ensure each bamboo stalk is of 100% natural growth and free of any chemical pesticides.
By way of giving back, Boody designs bracelets that are hand made in Africa to support African entrepreneurs. All of the profits raised on these bracelets are donated to Goodbye Malaria and the Relate Organisation.
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Benefits of Bamboo
1. Fast Growth
Bamboo is the fastest growing woody plant in the world and is also one of the most versatile plants in the world, being able to thrive in almost any climate. Its high growth rate and versatility make it a sustainable option. Also, with bamboo, you d not have to worry about planting and replanting.
2. High Yield
The bamboo plant grows very densely due to its clumping nature. The yield of bamboo can go as high as 150 tons per acre which greatly exceeds that of cotton which is 3-5 tons per acre.
Since bamboo is like grass, it requires only one-time planting and very little care and maintenance. When the bamboo tree is cut, it simply grows back without needing to be replanted.
3. No Chemicals Needed
One noteworthy benefit of using bamboo as the base for textile fibres is that the plant does not require pesticides or fertilisers to grow. Also, the presence of bamboo-kun - an antimicrobial agent that prevents fungal and bacterial infestation - in the bamboo plant helps protect the plant.
4. Minimal Water Usage
Naturally, bamboo does not require so much water to grow and as a result, very little bamboo is irrigated. Owing to this fact, bamboo is more able to handle extreme weather conditions with dying. All bamboo needs is rainwater to grow.
5. Protects Soil
With its extensive root system and regenerative abilities, bamboo helps preserve soil and prevent soil erosion. Its root system helps keep soil clumped together and reduces rain run-off.
6. Helps Regulate Body Temperature
Bamboo fibres help regulate body temperature. Owing to the many micro-gaps they posses, the fibre pulls moisture away from the skin by providing substantial and moisture absorption.