A clothing company that tells you to wear longer and wash less? Unheard of!
As you’ll see from the link, BAM challenged their audience to reduce their carbon footprint this month by wearing clothes longer between washes. And I’m all for it! With the exception of underwear and workout clothing I sweat in, I always try to wear pants at least three times and tops at least twice before washing. As for t-shirts I sleep in, sometimes I can’t count the number of times or days I’ve worn it before I wash. I’d say 4-5 days on average.
That might sound gross to you, but have you read this year’s United Nations Climate Report? It’s not good news, and we all have to do our part.
How can wearing longer make a difference in the environment?
BAM calculated that 26% of the carbon emissions generated by our clothes throughout their lifecycle are created when customers put them in the washing machine. They want us to try wearing clothes twice or more before washing in order to reduce those emissions. One 40°C wash and tumble dry is the equivalent of driving 11 kilometres!
If you’re worried about hygiene, here’s why conventional clothes get smelly: a t-shirt starts to smell when air reacts with the moisture of your sweat, creating odour-causing bacteria. With a synthetic top, this moisture sits on the top of the fabric, letting the air get to it more easily, and that’s why it feels damp and gets smelly quickly.
That’s why BAM’s activewear is all made of bamboo. And as much as I love some of the activewear made of recycled plastic, I’m ALL for natural fibres over synthetic! Bamboo has a fibre structure which absorbs the moisture in your sweat effectively, so the air can’t get to it as easily, and smelly bacteria can’t form. It’s 300% more absorbent than organic cotton (whoa!). The bamboo stays dry and the air can’t do its thing, so your shirt stays fresher for longer.
Naturally, I was excited to test out the clothing that BAM sent me, and see how much it absorbs or wicks sweat. So check out my review video below!
It can be tricky to shop for clothing online because you can’t try it out, but BAM’s clothing chart was SO helpful and the sizes were spot on. The items (all currently on sale compared to original retail price listed below):
- Women’s Stoneslade Shorts in Evergreen, 12 – $120 CAD
- Women’s Balance top in Fig/Jasper, M – $97 CAD
- Women’s Enduro Leggings in Peony Print, 12 – $110 CAD
The first thing I felt when I put on the top and leggings were that they were soooo comfortable. I already knew bamboo was a comfortable fabric because of the Muse Clothing dresses I have, but these might just be my new favourite clothes! It’s very common for yoga and activewear to feel slippery because of the synthetic fabric, but these pieces are natural and just sit really well on the skin.
As I said in the video, I sweat during my run in the top and leggings, but you can’t feel the sweat on the outside of the garment. I put the top in the laundry, but am going to wear the leggings at least once more because they’re THAT comfy!
I loved that the band of the leggings was nice and high and came up right above my waist, because if it sits somewhere in the middle or below, I end up pulling my pants up as I’m working out. Not cool!
As for the shorts, I don’t wear shorts a lot but I LOVE the colour, and they have pockets. A MUST! I think this is my second piece of clothing made of tencel as well, and I have to say, companies need to get on this fabric more. This item’s on sale now, so the price point is worth it too.
As mentioned in the video, every part of BAM’s packaging is eco-friendly, from the paper bag to the compostable plastic to the paper tags and metal safety pin. The paper tag includes some info on the company, and even says, “Keeps you feeling fresh, no need to wash it so often.” Washing instructions are also either embedded right on the inside of the fabric, or on a VERY small tag.
More about BAM
As part of BAM’s goal to be impact positive by 2030, they spent over two years measuring the carbon emissions created in every process through their clothing’s lifetime, and then offset them.
What does that mean? They haven’t just offset the carbon emissions for the business, but for every process involved in the life cycle of the clothes, from bamboo farming and fibre production and also the impact of each customer laundering a piece of clothing 50 times. They worked with Simon Brown, a leading expert in measuring and reducing environmental impacts from the Positive Momentum Business Consultancy (a certified B Corp!), to work out their calculation. This is how they worked out how to offset you washing your BAM clothes:
- A 5 kg load of laundry has a footprint of 0.6 kg CO2e (washed at 30 degrees and line dried)
- They produced 2000 kg of garments in 2019; 400 x 5 kg loads of laundry
- At 50 washes over the lifetime of their clothes, that would be 20k loads of laundry
- For 20,000 kgs, it’s 12,000 kg CO2e
- Converting that to tonnes gives them 1200t CO2e
And that’s what they offset.
Every BAM garment is now climate positive. How many other companies can claim that they’re climate positive? I can’t even count one!
Over a quarter of all BAM’s total carbon emissions comes from customer laundry, but there’s a simple solution: if consumers are all aware of this impact, we can make a huge difference and cut our own personal footprint by simply washing our clothes less often. Now that I know, I’m going to start doing this even less!
Enter BAM’s giveaway + participate!
To enter their giveaway for the chance to win a £250 voucher, visit this webpage and provide your full name and email address. The giveaway will run until August 30. They’ll contact the winner via email and announce on BAM’s social media stories on Wednesday, September 1st, so enter now!
A key reason for frequent clothes washing—especially those worn for an active lifestyle—is to keep them fresh and hygienic. So how long could you wear a t-shirt between washes? Two days? Three days? How about a week? Take part in the challenge to reduce your impact and tag @bamboo_clothing on Instagram and use #DaretoWearLonger in your posts and stories before the month ends.
This post was sponsored by BAM Bamboo Clothing.