What Is Bamboo Viscose?

Chris Ondatje May 14, 2021
Happy young woman standing on her balcony with a cup of coffee, wearing bamboo viscose T-shirt



While we most readily associate the bamboo plant with cute, fuzzy panda bears, did you know that bamboo fiber can also make an incredibly soft and breathable fabric?

You may have noticed a rise in clothing brands turning out garments made from bamboo instead of organic cotton. Bamboo is a popular raw material because it's sustainable-the fast-growing perennial plant is hardy. It can thrive in many different kinds of environments, requiring no fertilizer or extra water to grow.

There are big differences between cotton vs bamboo viscose. Learn about each of these unique materials on our blog. 

In this brief guide, we’ll explain how the bamboo tree becomes the coveted bamboo viscose fabric you see on the market, plus we’ll delve further into all the ecological benefits of the bamboo plant. Let’s discuss. 

Breaking down bamboo viscose

What is bamboo viscose fabric?1

When you order from your favorite clothing company, you may notice that the bamboo-based undies you're slipping into are made using bamboo viscose. Bamboo viscose, sometimes referred to as bamboo rayon fabric or regenerated bamboo, is a regenerated cellulose fiber created using natural cellulose from the crushed bamboo grass plant.

Bamboo viscose can be used to produce various products, including bamboo towels, bamboo sheets, bamboo linen, hygiene bamboo products like surgical masks, mattresses, food packaging, and of course, bamboo clothing. They've even figured out how to produce sturdy, stylish footwear from bamboo viscose.2 

Women's underwear made of bamboo viscose

How bamboo viscose is made 

Manufacturers of bamboo viscose take mechanically crushed bamboo leaves and stems and produce bamboo fibers using a wet-spun process. 

The resulting regenerated bamboo fibers are then dissolved into “a diluted solution of sodium hydroxide”  which creates a pulpy substance.1 This substance is then ripened, filtered, and degassed before being forced through spinneret nozzles into yet another diluted vat of solution, which hardens the substance. This process is done in a closed-loop system.

This substance is then cut into fibers and spun into bamboo fiber yarn. 

At Boody Wear, we only use bamboo yarn that is grown in China by a local company. They source bamboo from their own bamboo farm in the Sichuan Province and strictly oversees all operations. 

The bamboo fibers are Oeko-Tex 100 certified, meaning the finished fiber has been tested for harmful chemicals. 

The benefits of bamboo 

Bamboo doesn't require fertilizer. It also doesn't need to be replanted, meaning its growth won't negatively impact the earth around it. In addition to the production of soft, durable textiles, bamboo has historically been used for various purposes in East and Southeast Asia.

Some of these uses include:3

  • The seed of the bamboo plant can be used as grain
  • The young shoots of the plant can be eaten as vegetables
  • Livestock can feast on raw bamboo leaves 
  • Some species of the plant can be used to make high-quality paper
  • Jointed stems of bamboo can be used for a variety of construction projects
  • Stems of bamboo can make furniture, flooring, and even utensils
  • The silica mineral found in the joints of bamboo stems has been used as a medicine

The versatility of the bamboo plant is but one of its many positive features. When you buy organically grown and harvested bamboo, you can rest easy knowing that the growth of this plant can actually benefit the environment. 

shop womens bamboo clothing

Benefits of the bamboo plant include:4

  • Minimizes CO2, maximizes oxygen. With the rise of deforestation, there are fewer trees on the planet to soak up the rampant amount of carbon dioxide produced by modern humans. Because bamboo grows quickly and regenerates, these plants can soak up the excess CO2, generating 35% more oxygen than other trees.

  • Slows deforestation. As we noted earlier, bamboo can be used as an alternative source of lumber for construction. This allows native plants and trees that are not regenerative to grow freely, thus slowing deforestation. Our bamboo comes from FSC-certified forests so that we do not contribute to habitat loss or deforestation.

  • Doesn’t use much water. Bamboo is twice as effective at using water as other trees. Like a camel, bamboo plants are hardy and can withstand harsh weather conditions like drought and high temperatures. By not having to use excess water to grow these plants, bamboo farms are not contributing to the waste often generated by the fashion industry. Boody’s bamboo is grown organically, certified by EcoCert. Pesticides, artificial fertilizers, and artificial irrigation is not used at any point in the process. We rely on rainwater only.

  • Prevents soil erosion. Because bamboo doesn't need to be replanted annually, this helps prevent soil erosion. Bamboo's extensive root systems ensure no uprooting during harvesting, which helps preserve the soil.


The fashion industry contributes to approximately 10% of carbon emissions globally and almost 20% of wastewater, using more energy than the aviation and shipping industries combined.5 

By supporting companies that are mindful of their material choices and source from certified farms, you’re helping to combat the negative facets within the fashion industry. Plus, you’re benefiting from the breathable, self-cooling bamboo fabric that is so soft, you’ll be hard-pressed to take it off. 

Two sporting women standing on a bridge wearing white top tanks made of bamboo viscose

Boody Eco Wear—Bamboo clothing, sustainable practices 

Here at Boody Eco Wear, our quest to redesign the pulse of comfort led us to bamboo yarn. In a journey to create a transparent and eco-conscious and sustainable fashion line, we developed natural men's and women’s bamboo clothing that’s hypoallergenic, smooth on sensitive skin, and breathable. See our blog to learn more about what sustainable fashion is and explore our collections ranging from men’s bamboo shirts, women’s underwear, and more.

It’s smart comfort made consciously. It’s ethically sourced and made mainstream. 

If you're curious about the benefits of bamboo viscose or how bamboo textile influences comfortable fabrics, then you've landed in the right spot. If you're wondering what it feels like to wear something good for the earth?

Then it’s nice to meet you. We’re Boody Eco Wear. 

About the Author:

Heather Bien is a copywriter and writer based in Washington, DC. She works with retail, ecommerce, and creative brands on their website copy and digital presence, and her freelance writing has appeared on MyDomaine, Apartment Therapy, The Everygirl, and more. When she's not with laptop and coffee in hand, you'll find her planning her next weekend getaway, working on her budding green thumb, or scouting for her next great vintage find.


  1. BedVoyage. Wondering What Bamboo Viscose Is?
  2. Forbes. No brand has yet successfully turned bamboo into a high-performance shoe fabrication.
  3. Britannica. Bamboo 
  4. Boody Wear. Benefits of Bamboo. 
  5. BBC. Can Fashion Ever Be Sustainable? 

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By: Heather Bien We’re all trying to be better stewards of Mother Earth. From recycling to upcycling and eating conscientiously to dressing mindfully, our choices affect the planet. So choosing organic cotton clothing seems like an easy decision, right? Not so fast! As with all sustainable choices, it’s important to take a moment to learn a bit more about why organic cotton might win over conventional cotton—and what makes these two materials different in the first place. Read on if you’re interested in learning about organic cotton and whether it’s the best choice for you and the environment. Conventional cotton Before we get into debating modern cotton farming techniques, let’s get familiar with the plant we’re talking about: cotton. It’s soft, durable, and probably on your body right now. But what else do you really know about cotton? 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In order to combat these common pests, conventional cotton is routinely sprayed with a veritable salad-dressing of pesticides, many of which can remain in the soil and water supply for years afterward. Cotton harvesting requires defoliation – In order to quickly and efficiently harvest cotton, many commercial growers use chemical defoliants to strip the leaves from the cotton plant prior to harvesting the bolls. Like pesticides, these chemicals remain in the environment and on the cotton itself. Is organic cotton better? All of those cotton factoids point pretty compellingly to buying and wearing organic cotton fabric. But first, it’s important to understand what sets this organic alternative apart. Why exactly is “organic” cotton anyway? You might associate the word organic with your healthy fruits and veggies, but it’s not always clear what this term means when it comes to cotton. 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Crop pests, weeds, and diseases will be controlled primarily through management practices, including physical, mechanical, and biological controls. When these practices are not sufficient, a biological, botanical, or synthetic substance approved for use on the National List may be used. Operations must use organic seeds and other planting stock when available. The use of genetic engineering, ionizing radiation, and sewage sludge is prohibited. What is organic cotton? In short, it’s cotton that is farmed according to these practices and certified organic by the USDA. Why should you choose organic cotton? With fewer pesticides, fewer synthetic chemicals, and more thoughtful cultivation practices, organic cotton can certainly offer a more environmentally friendly choice when compared to regular cotton. 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But when it comes to plant-derived textiles, the ones which help us create a healthier world are always a better alternative.  Explore the benefits of bamboo with Boody Whether you choose to purchase conventional or organic cotton clothing, the fact that you are shopping mindfully for yourself is a win for the environment. At Boody, we believe in bringing you quality, comfy, sustainable clothing basics that keep you feeling good about yourself and your personal impact on Mother Earth. From our sleepwear to our loungewear, women’s bamboo shirts to our underwear, sustainable and ethical are our touchstones. Our clothing is made of bamboo viscose, requiring less water than cotton while putting precious oxygen back into the environment. That just feels good, doesn’t it? Explore the bamboo benefits today, with Boody. Sources:  Britannica. Cotton. Cotton. The Story of Cotton - Where Cotton Grows. World Wildlife Federation. Cotton. Textile Exchange. Quick Guide to Organic Cotton. Soil Association. What is organic cotton?  USDA. Conservation and Biological Diversity in Organic Production. About the Author: Heather Bien is a copywriter and writer based in Washington, DC. She works with retail, ecommerce, and creative brands on their website copy and digital presence, and her freelance writing has appeared on MyDomaine, Apartment Therapy, The Everygirl, and more. When she's not with laptop and coffee in hand, you'll find her planning her next weekend getaway, working on her budding green thumb, or scouting for her next great vintage find.