We’re so glad you asked. Bamboo has some incredible properties that we can’t wait to tell you about. You may have even heard about the benefits of this mighty grass. That's right - scientifically speaking, bamboo is not a tree, but grass. Who woulda thought?
In case you couldn’t tell, we’re pretty into this sustainable material because it supports the values that LETE is built on – caring for you and the environment at the same time. Our bamboo fabric is primarily Tanboocel, chosen because its manufacturers are committed to the closed loop process of garment production, meaning that no chemicals escape into the environment or atmosphere during the manufacturing process, making it a sustainable choice with minimum impact on the planet.
Nearly all of our products are close to being 100% made from bamboo, and we aim to be completely polyester free within five years. While we’re pretty close to this target, there’s still work to do; even in small amounts, these microplastics can release hazardous materials through the washing machine, and end up being released back into our environment. Some of our garments contain recycled elastane because there’s currently no better option – but we’re working on changing this.
In the meantime, let us share a few of our favourite things about bamboo with you.
Did you know that bamboo uses only one third of the water consumption of cotton when it grows? While it can take up to 20,000 litres of water to produce just one kilo of cotton, bamboo is much more friendly to its environment.
Bamboo grows up to THREE FEET PER DAY! This makes it a highly sustainable and renewable choice for your fabric.
One of the major advantages of bamboo fibres is that it’s biodegradable, making it a very environmentally-friendly choice for your clothing.
Currently, the LETE range is 87.5% made from Tanboocel bamboo. Being activewear, some of our garments contain recycled elastane to help give them stretch and maintain their shape - therefore, only part of our clothing is currently biodegradeable. Unfortunately, there's not yet a better market alternative for activewear, but we're always on the lookout and aim to be completely free of polyester within five years.
Our chosen bamboo fabric is made from Tanboocel, which is an antimicrobial fibre that helps to repel germs – no matter how many times you wash it. This is all thanks to a natural, bacteriostatic component in the bamboo plant called bamboo kun, which makes the fibre resistant to bacterial and fungal growth. Smells better, keeps you cleaner. That’s the dream.
Thanks to an antimicrobial bio-agent bamboo kun, which is produced naturally by the grass, bamboo usually requires zero pesticides to keep it healthy. In contrast, 2.4% of the world’s arable land is planted with cotton – yet cotton accounts for a whopping 24% of the world’s insecticide market.
Bamboo is 40 % more absorbent and breathable than cotton, drawing sweat away from your body so you’ll stay dryer for longer. This thermoregulation will keep you cooler in summer and warmer in winter, so it’s the best of both worlds.
YOUR SKIN’S BEST FRIEND
Bamboo is reported to be twice as soft and more alike to silk or cashmere than cotton, so it feels like your second skin. It’s also hypo-allergenic, keeping you safe from skin irritation.
KEEPING THE PLANET GREEN
Bamboo generates up to 35% more oxygen than most other grasses or trees: one hectare of bamboo absorbs 62 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, while one hectare of young forest only absorbs 15 tonnes.
TESTING & RESEARCH
All of our products are designed and tested in New Zealand, by the people who use them.