Disproving Common Myths About Bamboo, Eucalyptus, Linen & Cotton Fabrics
At Reer Endz, we believe in using natural, organic fibres that are not treated with toxic chemicals, pesticides, or dyes. However, not all natural fabrics are processed equally, and some use fewer harmful chemicals instead of none at all. Many brands falsely label their products as "sustainable" or "green" without proper certification, leading consumers to buy into their false claims. We've taken a closer look at popular fabrics with claims of sustainability and found that only certified organic cotton meets our standards when it comes to the production of our men's underwear range. We'll continue to prioritize materials in our production process particularly as we continue to introduce new products.
Bamboo: Separating Fact From Fiction
Advocates of bamboo textiles tout its many benefits as a fast-growing, eco-friendly alternative to traditional fabrics. With the ability to improve soil quality and store more carbon dioxide than other plants, it's no wonder bamboo has captured the attention of the sustainability-conscious consumer. However, the reality of bamboo textiles is more complex than many brands would have you believe.
On the pro side, bamboo does indeed have many environmental benefits as a plant. It can grow quickly, produce more wood per acre than standard trees, and release more oxygen back into the atmosphere. It's also true that organic, sustainably made bamboo fibre exists which some brands use to claim that their products are organic.
But when it comes to the actual process of turning bamboo into a soft, smooth textile, things get murkier. Unfortunately, there is still no organic certification for bamboo textiles, opening the door to greenwashing claims. The most common method for producing bamboo textiles involves a harsh chemical process that significantly diminishes its eco-friendly profile.
The process, known as viscose, converts the cellulose (the walls of the bamboo plant) into liquid. This chemical-laden liquid is then forced through a chemical bath of sulfuric acid to create a smooth bamboo textile. The manufacturing process often includes the use of dyes containing lead, mercury, heavy metals, mutagenic chemicals, and endocrine disruptors, which can be harmful to human health and the environment.
This entire process not only harms the consumer but also affects the workers in the factories, the waterways, the land that takes the untreated effluent, and the release of toxic fumes into the atmosphere. In short, while bamboo as a plant may have many environmental benefits, the processing of bamboo into textiles is far from green.
Eucalyptus is a rapidly regenerating plant, with a yield of up to 30 times higher than that of cotton. The production process also uses significantly less water than cotton, and no pesticides or insecticides are required, reducing the environmental impact.
Eucalyptus requires large amounts of land in order to meet global demand, potentially resulting in deforestation and biodiversity loss. The manufacturing process for transforming eucalyptus into Tencel, the most common form of eucalyptus textile, requires a toxic and energy-intensive solvent called N-Methylmorpholine N-Oxide, which raises concerns for worker safety and environmental impact.
Linen is a natural, biodegradable material that doesn't require pesticides or fertilizers to grow. It's a durable fabric that can last for many years, and it's also recyclable.
The production of linen is water-intensive, requiring up to 15,000 litres of water per kilogram of fibre. The process also typically involves the use of chemicals, such as pesticides and fertilizers, which can have negative environmental impacts.
Cotton is a natural, biodegradable material that is widely available and affordable.
Cotton is one of the most water-intensive crops, with estimates suggesting it can take over 10,000 litres of water to produce just one kilogram of cotton. The production of conventional cotton also involves the use of harmful pesticides and insecticides, which can negatively impact both the environment and the health of farmers and workers.
While there are pros and cons to all textiles, it's important to look beyond surface-level claims of eco-friendliness and do your own research to fully understand the environmental impact of your clothing choices. Choosing sustainable materials is crucial for reducing negative impacts on the planet, and a more informed consumer ultimately leads to a more sustainable fashion industry.
Reer Endz's Firm Stance on Certified Organic Cotton
Our unwavering commitment to this agenda is not only gentle on the planet but also incredibly crucial. Our years of research and investigation have shown that certified organic cotton can significantly transform the textile industry. The fashion and textile industry is one of the largest polluters globally, contributing significantly to climate change. It accounts for 10% of the world's carbon emissions, producing a staggering 1.2 billion tons of greenhouse gases annually.
As part of society, we realize that making conscious and informed decisions on the products we choose to support is vital. We owe it to ourselves and the planet to demand nothing short of perfection from the industry. For there to be a genuine positive change in the world, both individuals and the planet must be held accountable for their actions. In doing so, we can ensure that there are no loopholes or ways for any practices that are harmful to take place.
Our ultimate goals at Reer Endz organic cotton underwear are simple.
We want to eliminate waste, conserve energy & water, avoid chemicals, & wear organic cotton underwear as much as we possibly can.