Bathroom Towels: Organic Cotton vs Bamboo
Using common household utilities like bathroom towels prepared from eco-friendly fabrics is an easy way to progress towards a greener, socially-responsible lifestyle. Within the niche of green bathroom towels, there are two main choices—organic cotton towels and bamboo towels. Though both these options are more eco-friendly than the conventional fabrics, each of them represents a different level of green performance. This essentially means that a responsible consumer should be willing to understand which of these bathroom towel options is greener and better for household usage.
Bamboo Vs Organic Cotton: Which is more Organic?
This question can be easily resolved by reading through the following:
1. Bamboo Plant Vs Cotton Plant
Bamboo is known to grow faster than most contemporary plants, including the cotton crop. Unlike the cotton crop that is susceptible to damage by pests and poor soil conditions, the bamboo plant is quite durable. It can sustain the most dangerous of pests and dry conditions with ease. It doesn’t need a regular supply of pesticides and fertilizers. In fact, using fertilizers for growing bamboo is unheard of in most parts of Asia. Bamboo matures rather quickly and it is harvested with ease, without the use of any modern, fuel-consuming machinery.
Cotton crop grown for organic fabric purposes is grown differently from the conventional cotton crop. Since cotton can be attacked by some pests, it needs a regular supply of herbicides or natural pest-killing agents. Organically-grown cotton plants too need a regular supply of water. Further, the soil needs to have a certain pH level or the cotton crop can be damaged.
This makes bamboo a more sustainable, eco-friendlier plant to grow since it uses minimal environmental resources. It also helps to bring infertile lands under cultivation since it can be grown outside the realm of conventional agricultural practices.
2. Bamboo Fabric Vs Cotton Fabric
The bamboo thread used to make the premium quality bamboo towels undergoes a preparation phase that reduces its green characteristics to a certain extent. This is because the bamboo fiber is naturally rough and needs to be processed so that it can be easily spun.
Cotton fiber undergoes minimal changes during its processing into a commercial fabric. Due to its naturally-soft texture, there is no need to process it using conventional methods. Further, cotton can be easily bleached and dyed with natural or organic dyes.
This makes organic cotton a bit eco-friendlier than the bamboo fabric.
3. Biodegradable Performance
One of the most important parameters to judge the eco-friendliness of any resource is the extent up to which it can be recycled. In this regard, bamboo fabric emerges as the winner.
Bamboo towels can be easily decomposed wherein the fibers are composted and turned into natural fertilizers for the soil.
Though some of the organic towel varieties can be used in the production of recycled paper products, this application is still not as comprehensive as the recycling of bamboo fiber.
Considering the comparison parameters used above, bamboo emerges as the greener, more eco-friendly option. However, there are many more reasons why bamboo towels are preferred over organic cotton towels:
Bamboo fabric is composed of a more intricate network of fibers that makes the towels more breathable, allowing them to dry quickly. This makes the bamboo fabric ideal for towels.
Bamboo towels can outlast cottons towels by nearly three years according to most industry estimates. This is again due to the more resilient nature of the bamboo fiber.
Bamboo is naturally resistant against common towel-related issues like odor and molding. This is because its fiber contains Bamboo Kun—a natural compound that is a proven anti-microbial agent and keeps away bacterial and fungal infections.