Sustainable fabrics are at the heart of what we do at Miik. In fact, they’re the reason our company was started! While our passion for the environment runs deep, we believe that sustainability is an ongoing process. Everything comes with a cost—a sustainable fabric that has zero impact on the environment just doesn’t exist (yet). Our goal is to make the best choices we can, always learn and improve, and be transparent with our customers. We strive to ensure that everything we do has a low environmental impact while providing the highest quality products.
Historical use of bamboo
There are many different types of bamboo, but moso bamboo is commonly used in fabric production. Moso is a hearty and fast-growing bamboo native to China. Bamboo cultivation and agriculture in China has roots going back over 7,000 years. From the 11th century, bamboo was used for food, in construction, making books, weaponry, creating musical instruments and yes—even creating bamboo clothing!
In the past, thin strips of bamboo were used to give structure to garments, for example, as the boning in corsets or bustles of dresses. Now, bamboo fibres are processed into luxuriously soft fabrics that feel and look amazing.
What is bamboo fabric?
Rayon from bamboo is known as a semi-synthetic fabric because it involves natural plant materials that are transformed through a series of chemical processes. First, cellulose is extracted from the bamboo plant by crushing and soaking the pulp in solvents. The cellulose goes through the viscose process, in which is dissolved in sodium hydroxide (also known as lye or caustic soda) and treated with carbon disulphide to create a thick liquid solution. This solution is passed through a spinneret—think lots of tiny holes—to create filaments which are then spun into yarn, and this yarn is knit into fabric.
Turning bamboo into fabric is a complicated process. Many of the chemicals used in its production can be harmful to humans and the environment, so it’s important that waste and emissions are carefully controlled. Modern equipment for the production of rayon is designed to reduce pollution, recapture waste products where possible, and ensure worker safety. At Miik, our rayon from bamboo textiles comply with China’s National General Safety Technical Code for Textile Products, the requirements of which ensure product quality and safety by regulating hazardous substances. We also carry the third-party STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certification, meaning our textiles have been tested to ensure they meet specific regulations for chemical content.
What are the benefits of bamboo fabric?
Rayon from bamboo is a popular choice for sustainable fashion. The bamboo plant itself has many environmental advantages, as it naturally resists pests and diseases, thus reducing the need to use harmful pesticides and other chemicals in its cultivation. It grows very quickly, self-propagates, and requires very little water, which are big advantages when compared to other textile crops like cotton.
Rayon from bamboo fabric is:
- Exceptionally soft. Comparable in touch to silk or cashmere, rayon from bamboo fabric is so luxurious you’ll want to wear it all day, everyday.
- Breathable and moisture-wicking. It’s great for layering and will keep you comfortable in any climate.
- Wrinkle-resistant. You’ll always look pulled together and it’s perfect for travel!
Miik’s rayon from bamboo is luxuriously soft, long-lasting and easy to care for. It doesn’t fade, stretch or shrink like other naturally-derived fabrics, meaning it looks great for longer. All of these factors are important considerations when evaluating the sustainability of a fabric. Extending the lifespan of each piece of clothing we own means we don’t need to buy as many new items and it keeps the clothing we own out of the landfill for as long as possible.
Bamboo fabric is controversial when it comes to sustainability, and we know it’s not the perfect solution. We consider the low-impact cultivation of the bamboo plant itself, the durability and longevity of the fabric, and the exceptionally comfortable clothing we’re able to produce with it to be advantages over other sustainable fabrics. We’re excited to see new technologies and regulations emerge to reduce the environmental impact of bamboo fabric production and hope to bring you even better sustainable fabrics in the future.
This relaxed fit tank top is back-to-front reversible, so you can choose to wear it with a scoop neck or boatneck. An essential layering piece, this tank is flattering on its own or under a blazer or cardigan. Shop bamboo tops.
Our bestselling legging features a 4” waistband that can be folded over at the hip or worn high-waisted. Ideal for everyday wear, these opaque leggings have minimal, non-athletic stitching and won’t fade or lose their shape. Shop bamboo leggings.
This women’s blazer has the softness and stretch of a cardigan with the look of a tailored jacket. 4-way stretch makes it the most comfortable blazer you’ll ever wear. Shop bamboo blazers.
The Avery pant looks like a tailored trouser but is as comfortable as your favourite leggings. The pull-on, pocketless design has a sleek, minimal look and the slim cut suits any style. Shop bamboo bottoms