Bamboo fabric is actually "bamboo rayon". Rayon can be created from any plant-based material, however its creation requires heavy input of chemicals that release toxic pollutants into the air. By the time bamboo is transformed into man-made rayon fabric, any beneficial properties of bamboo as a plant (antimicrobial, biodegradable) are lost.
What are some environmentally friendly fabric choices used in cloth diapers? Look for these terms:
- Organic: The fabric is made from plant material not treated with pesticides.
- Unbleached: The product has not been whitened with chlorine bleach, a process that releases some of the world's most toxic compounds.
- Hemp: Hemp grows with minimal pesticides, no herbicides, grows quickly, and has been called a "carbon-negative" raw material. Hemp is also highly absorptive and is frequently used to add extra absorbency to diapers. It can be a bit scratchy, so it's typically used as an absorbency doubler and not directly against baby's skin.
- Able to be composted: Some diapers are designed to degrade after about 5 years of composting. Rumparooz (aff link) diapers can be composted.
- Recycled: Diapers made from recycled fabric (or in some cases recycled plastics) are a great environmentally friendly option. Rumparooz recently introduced the Eco-posh line that contains components made from recycled water bottles.
- Reused/Used: No matter the fabric type, any diaper fabric that lasts well enough to be used by multiple children and sold for further use is an environmentally friendly fabric!