Eco-friendly clothes and stylish: Bamboo tribe comes to rescue

Banglore based Bamboo tribe promises to dress you in 100% biodegradable, softer than Egyptian cotton-Gym wear made completely out of Bamboo, making you stylish and eco-friendly both at the same time

If we ask you what does the first thing that comes to your mind when the bamboo is said. You might start with tents or may be ladder or something that you may have used in your day to day life. But never will you say clothes. Yes you read it right clothes made from Bamboo.

Bangalore based company Bamboo tribe promises to the same. It has an exciting line of active wear that has no synthetic fibre. That makes it a hundred percent biodegradable fabric like natural fibres. Bamboo tribe says that their active wear replaces plastic used to make such clothing. Polyester activewear = 2808 plastic bags worth of microplastics in the ocean per person every year. The company encourages its customers to ditch and switch to bamboo.

Polyester activewear = 2808 plastic bags worth of microplastics in the ocean per person every year.

Bamboo tribe is the brain child Madhavi Das & Aiyappa Somayanda – two crazy people trying to bring about sustainable change in a space that is rapidly moving toward unsustainability. They recently were named in the New Indian Express 40 under 40 list of most inspiring start-up entrepreneurs under the age of 40.

Madhavi is a graduate of IIM Kozhikode, who spent a decade in the corporate world, as a VP at HSBC, Sales Head at Xiaomi and E-Commerce Director at LeEco, before giving up the pay and stability to do something close to her heart.

Aiyappa worked in consulting after he graduated from IIM Trichy, and then in sales at Xiaomi & LeEco, where the initial idea for Bamboo Tribe took shape, until he was ready to take the leap and chase his dream.

They both take active interest in finding more sustainable and minimalistic alternatives to replace harmful products (especially those which are plastic-based) in our day-to-day lives. Having been very interested by the Bamboo plant for years – the combination of its many environmental benefits and its superb versatility in application, made them want to do something with Bamboo. Over a couple of years of research they came across Bamboo fabric and upon learning of its unique properties (moisture-wicking, anti-odour, hypoallergenic etc). They realised it was a perfect fit for the Indian climate which tends to be hot and humid for a large part of the year. Further, as more people are trying to get fit, sale of polyester-based activewear has been growing at a rapid pace and bamboo Tribe wants to provide a viable alternative. Polyester sportswear is responsible for a huge amount of microplastics released into the oceans through washing.

There has been a trend in the apparel market towards fast fashion – which entails frequent churning of one’s wardrobe to constantly have new on-trend clothes without much concern of quality of material and longevity as they will be discarded soon. This is a dangerous trend which leads to an excessive amount of waste. Bamboo tribe wants to provide classic, minimalist wardrobe choices that can last long and never go out of style – and Bamboo fabric does that.  Their products can replace not only your casual cotton clothes but also your polyester activewear – a double whammy! 100% Cotton clothing comes with the problem of excessive water consumption, pesticide use and soil erosion and polyester clothes brings with it the ever-growing and often unnoticed microplastics problem.

The sportswear market in India is growing rapidly and is expected to be a USD 9.5 Bn market by 2021 according to Euromonitor – and bamboo tribe wants to ensure that some of that growth comes from more sustainable fabrics as against polyester.

Also, there is an increasing awareness of environmental issues and the desire to make lifestyle changes. According to the Nielsen Sustainability Imperative, two-thirds of people surveyed said they are willing to even pay more for products and services that come from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact. In fact, in developing markets including Asia, the positive response was 29% higher. Amongst Millennials alone, 75% agree – and as we know, India’s demographic is highly skewed towards the younger generations – 65% of Indians are under the age of 35. Hence, there is a rapidly growing demand in India for such products.

The biggest brands around the world are all making efforts and investing in research to create more sustainable fabrics. In a couple of years an increasing number of brands will release products made from Bamboo-based fabrics, Tencel, Hemp etc. And these will not be limited to small players trying to make a difference – but big name brands will have to make the shift as their consumers become more aware and demand better solutions.

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