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  • Writer's pictureBelynda

Which is more sustainable organic cotton or bamboo ?

When it comes to sustainable materials, there are a few options to choose from. But which one is the most sustainable? Bamboo or organic cotton?

The answer may surprise you.

It is well known that bamboo and organic cotton are both sustainable materials. But which one is more sustainable?

Before we dive into the answer, here is a brief overview of the two materials and how they differ.


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Organic cotton is a type of cotton that is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or herbicides. This means that it is safer for the environment and for the people who work with it. Organic cotton is also usually softer and more durable than regular cotton.

Organic cotton is grown in a variety of places around the world. Some of the biggest producers are India, Turkey, and China. In the United States, organic cotton is grown in California, Arizona, and Texas.


Bamboo grows incredibly fast - up to four feet per day - and doesn't require any pesticides or fertilizers to thrive. Once it's harvested, bamboo can be used for a variety of purposes, from construction material to furniture to paper products.

Bamboo is also one of the strongest materials on the planet. It has a higher compressive strength than concrete and a higher tensile strength than steel. This makes it an ideal material for construction, as it can be used to create both strong foundations and sturdy frame structures.

Bamboo is also an excellent absorbent material. It can absorb up to three times its own weight in water, making it ideal for use in drought-prone regions.

Finally, bamboo is a great source of food for both humans and animals. The shoots of many bamboo species are edible, and the leaves can be used as fodder for livestock.

Despite its many benefits, bamboo does have some drawbacks. It is not as widely available as other sustainable materials like wood or straw, and it can be difficult to process. However, with proper care and processing, bamboo can be a great addition to any sustainable building project.

Rolls of organic cotton

So how do organic cotton and bamboo compare in terms of sustainability?

The answer depends on a number of factors, including the water footprint, the ethical practices of the growers, and the overall carbon footprint of each material.

Let's take a closer look at each of these factors to see which material is more sustainable.

Water Footprint

When it comes to the water footprint, bamboo wins hands down. It takes about 5800 litres of water to produce 1 kg of bamboo, whereas it takes about 9000 litres of water to produce 1 kg of organic cotton. This means that bamboo requires about 30% less water than organic cotton. As we can see, bamboo only needs about 1/3 of the amount of water that organic cotton does. This is because bamboo grows quickly and doesn't require irrigation like other crops.

Ethical Practices

Both bamboo and organic cotton are grown without the use of harmful chemicals or pesticides. However, organic cotton is usually grown in developing countries where workers may not have access to fair wages or safe working conditions. On the other hand, bamboo is mostly grown in China, where there are stricter labor laws in place. This means that, overall, bamboo has more ethical practices than organic cotton.

Carbon Footprint

Finally, let's look at the carbon footprint of each material. The production of bamboo releases about 1.6 kg of carbon dioxide, while the production of organic cotton releases about 2.1 kg of carbon dioxide. This means that bamboo has a lower carbon footprint than organic cotton.

So, which material is more sustainable? Based on the above factors, it appears that bamboo is the more sustainable choice. However, it is important to remember that both materials are sustainable and have a positive impact on the environment.

So which do you prefer? Organic cotton or bamboo? Comment below!

In any case, don't forget to use plastic-free laundry sheets.

Download our FREE Google Chrome Extension and shop sustainably today!

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