Why are bamboo sheets from the big box stores cheaper than the ones Bamboo For Life sells? – The debate on bamboo begins – is it good for the environment or does the energy cost offset the benefits? – How rayon has turned bamboo from sustainable , causing real bamboo product to be more expensive. – Why are bamboo products in big department stores so much cheaper? They’re more likely to be blends.
Bamboo For Life‘s policy on obtaining quality bamboo sheets and towels. Hey! It’s Jim, and I got a great question today from the website from a woman who was asking about bamboo sheets. She asked if we sold them, and, of course, we do. But she was quite surprised by the prices that we sold them for because they’re higher than the ones that she just bought at one of the big box stores that will remain nameless. Bamboo sheets are kind of interesting. They’re pitched as a renewable product, very good for the environment.
Bamboo grows incredibly fast. You may know it as a building product. Everything from tables to chairs to huts and houses. It’s incredibly inexpensive, and as I mentioned it grows incredibly fast. When bamboo fibers are broken down, they create a fiber that can be woven and turned into a fabric. On the one side, the pitch for the bamboo is that it’s environmentally friendly, bamboo is easy to grow, fast, quick, renewable, you name it. The thing is, to make bamboo, to turn bamboo into a fiber that can be woven, takes an incredible amount of energy.
So the debate begins – is there in fact an environmental advantage to bamboo, because to turn it into a fiber takes a lot of energy and expense and could kind of offset the benefits. That’s kind of the pitch against bamboo. The one thing that we found that happens when bamboo first came onto the market pretty heavily a number of years ago is that bamboo fiber looks a lot like rayon. So bamboo — all natural, perhaps organic in some ways.
A lot of our suppliers were hesitant to create bamboo sheets, towels, until they could really confirm and trust that the bamboo fiber that was coming into the marketplace to be woven into sheets and towels and things like that, was rayon. What has happened is that true bamboo product is more expensive than the “bamboo” product you may find in a big box department store, because the bamboo product that is on the department store shelves is a little bit suspect, and many people would say that it is, in fact a blend.
Just like when you buy organic food in the grocery store, it only needs to be a certain percentage of organic product to actually be called organic. The same thing is true for bamboo product. So the woman who came into the store was surprised. She loved her sheets, and I don’t doubt that. She loves her sheets.
They’re soft, they’re silky, they’re smooth. They may fall apart in a little while. If she bought the bamboo sheets to be sleeping on a natural, organic type of environment, she may perhaps be on the complete opposite of that with a rayon blend, if it is, in fact, that. We have bamboo product. We have bamboo sheets, we have the ability to order in bamboo towels.
But the product that we do get the bamboo sheets and towels from, we feel very strongly about. Over the years we’ve seen them do their diligence. They’ve waited, they’ve hesitated, then they’ve finally adopted a product that they feel good about and have turned it into sheets that we feel good about selling to our client base.