Is our View on Bamboo really True?

“Gui-Zuo” Empowering the Endangered collection

“Gui-Zuo” Empowering the Endangered collection

Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA

Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA

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Today felt like someone was trying to tell me something... It started with the news of an advert made by Iceland supermarket and Greenpeace, being banned from use over Christmas, as it is considered “too political”. The advert explores the results of deforestation from palm oil production on a young orangutan.

The second was a by-product of researching new pieces that I would like to add to my shop, sustainable scarves. I stumbled across a fascinating article in the Guardian, asking if bamboo really was environmentally friendly, which then led me to discover a blog dedicated to researching organic fabrics.

It took an hour long car journey that evening, and a TED talk on decision making, to realise that this was the missing link in my work. I have always wanted to use my skills to help a cause, and today the answer seemed to be everywhere, that cause is to support organisations working hard to conserve what is left of the worlds ancient habitats.

I have been motivated to learn more about agriculture and its effects on natural habitats. I hope to generate concepts and ideas that illustrate, in a universally understood manner, the importance of biodiversity.

And where best to start than bamboo.

I was of the understanding that bamboo was one of the most sustainable and natural materials, with a vast array of uses such as kitchen utensils, scaffolding, floor boards and of course my favourite -fabric!

I felt naive not to realise that it is not just about growing bamboo but the production of it, breaking it down and forming it into a usable pulp. I had no idea of the chemicals involved, nor even the fact that, where it is predominately grown in China, it may not even be from a ‘sustainable’ plantation.

So I did a bit more research and found some organisations such as eco planet who cheered me back up again, they are well worth reading.

In conclusion, I feel it is a great shame that we cannot trust all manufacturers to be transparent with their customers of whom are trying to responsibly fill consumer demand.

Zoe Childs