Last week, I bought my very first eco-friendly dress from Zhai, a Singapore-based eco-fashion brand. Zhai’s designs are pretty basic and functional. What’s interesting though is that their entire clothing line is made with bamboo fiber, a material that has been gaining popularity in the eco-fashion industry these recent years. Why? I had no idea and that’s why I bought the dress so I could wear it, personally feel it and share with you what could possibly be causing all the hoo-ha about bamboo fabric.
Benefits of Bamboo Fabric
Apparently, aside from being as comfortable and soft (or even softer!) as the conventional cotton, I read that bamboo cloth offers 60% more UV protection than conventional cotton (source). That’s probably what caught my attention the most since I’m a proud sun protection nerd. Of course, I don’t think the resulting UVP (UV Protection) value of bamboo fabric is anything like an impenetrable alien force field but any additional sun protection works for me.
Other benefits of Bamboo cloth include:
- Anti-fungal/Anti-Bacterial Properties
- Absorbs Moisture
- Odor resistant
- Regulates your body temperature
- Ideal for sensitive skin
- Soft and comfortable on the skin
- Strong & Durable, Resistant to Wrinkling
However, there are still some debate on whether bamboo fiber is as green as it’s touted to be. Since raw bamboo fiber is tough like most wood, some manufacturers use heavy chemicals to soften the fibers to save costs. On the other hand, growing and farming bamboo is more sustainable and cheaper compared to cotton. Growing bamboo doesn’t require pesticides and need significantly lesser space (land) and water to survive. An acre of bamboo plantation can produce ten times the amount of fabric that a cotton field of the same size can.
Wearing it, Feeling it
I can’t really tell how well the dress protected me from UV rays and germs but it was definitely comfortable to wear especially under the hot and humid Singapore weather. Surprisingly, although the bamboo fabric felt so much like cotton, it didn’t wrinkle as easily and I was able to iron out minor folds on the dress simply by stretching the fabric a bit. My only qualm was that the fabric isn’t thick enough. The dress definitely needs to be worn over a half-slip and seamless underwear. This is especially true for the beige version (or you might end up showing more than the usual curves we, girls, like to show off). Style-wise, the dress has a basic and classic design. It’s not really my personal style–I prefer my dresses to show more legs–but it was refreshing to see myself wearing something different.
Win a Dress from Zhai!
Zhai Eco Collection has offered to sponsor a second dress (in beige*) as a giveaway prize to one lucky Eco Beauty Secrets reader. The contest rules are simple**. To join, all you need to do is to leave a comment below sharing what your favorite benefit of bamboo fabric is. I’ve already mentioned a list of benefits up there so all you have to do is choose one. If you want an additional entry, you can visit the Eco Beauty Secrets Facebook Page and like the giveaway post but don’t forget to leave your Facebook name on your comment below so I’ll be able to validate your bonus entry. This giveaway runs from May 7 to May 17, 2012 (11:59 PM SST) and is open internationally.
* Unfortunately, the black dress reviewed above is already out-of-stock so I chose the beige dress for the giveaway.
** Winner will be chosen by random.org
UPDATE: And the winner is…
Congratulations again, Gin! I’ll send you an e-mail shortly to arrange for the courier of the prize. Unfortunately, if I don’t receive any reply within a week, I’ll have to choose another winner.