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Bamboo Vs. Cotton – Which Material is More Sustainable

A study by the Economist highlights that consumers trust companies and brands that fulfill corporate social responsibility and follow eco-friendly practices. 71% of online users look for sustainable products.

According to McKinsey & Co's survey, 66% to 75% of millennials consider the sustainability factor before purchasing a product. Consumers engage with sustainable and eco-friendly businesses in the 21st century.

The primary reason is that sustainable products benefit the environment and improve people's overall health/wellbeing. Due to high customer demands, the skincare/beauty industry focuses more on sustainability and vegan products.

What is Sustainability in the Skincare/Beauty Industry?

An optimal/regular skincare routine is essential to maintaining your skin's health. However, you must purchase products that contain natural/organic/plant-based ingredients.

Otherwise, synthetic chemicals and compounds in beauty products will harm your skin, strip moisture, reduce sebum oil, and create a favorable environment for bacteria to cause infections.

A 2022 research study published by the National Institute of Health highlights that sustainability in skincare/beauty means reducing animal-based ingredients, decreasing the use of plastics, and selecting plant-based/non-toxic ingredients.

In addition, sustainability in skincare products means recyclable packaging to improve the product's safety and reduce the carbon footprint. For instance, look for skincare products approved or accredited by Leaping Bunny.

Examples of sustainable materials used in beauty, skin, or fashion products are plant-based ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, vitamin C, collagen, retinol, essential oils, cotton, bamboo, etc.

The Difference Between Bamboo and Cotton

Bamboo and cotton are the most widely used materials in producing/manufacturing sustainable or eco-friendly products. The question is: which material is more sustainable? Answering this question requires understanding the difference between bamboo and cotton.

Properties of Bamboo Fabric

Bamboo is one of the most sustainable and eco-friendlier materials. Bamboo fiber has numerous micro gaps, making it softer than other materials. At the same time, bamboo has increased moisture absorption rates, improved elasticity, and a low carbon footprint. The fiber has excellent antifungal, bacteriostatic, antibacterial, and hypoallergenic properties. Let us delve into details.

Soft and Breathable

According to Sew Port, bamboo fiber is a soft and breathable material due to its core structure. It has smooth, rounded, and long fiber, meaning the fabric has loose ends, making it one of the softest materials.

In addition, bamboo can maintain moisture absorption and antimicrobial properties, making it breathable and environmentally friendly with a smaller footprint. For example, investing in bamboo makeup remover pads is an excellent way to reduce carbon footprint and remove makeup without damaging your skin.


Manufacturing companies use bamboo fibers to make the fabric. Professionals take fibers from bamboo shoots matured for four years. The mature shoots increase the fabric/fibers' durability, softness, absorption, and antimicrobial properties.

Unlike plastic pin hairbrushes or combs, bamboo combs or pins do not damage your hair and act gentler on tough tangles and knots. At the same time, combs and pins made of bamboo are durable and elastic.


Bamboo fabric or fiber is a 100% biodegradable textile material. Because bamboo's fiber is made of natural cellulose, microorganisms and sunlight can biodegrade or decompose efficiently, reliably, and quickly without causing environmental pollution. We recommend investing in bamboo products to maintain sustainability.  

bamboo forest

Moisture Absorption

Bamboo has solid water and moisture absorption properties. Bamboo can hold three times more water/moisture than its weight. So, this means excellent moisture-wicking abilities, which improve your skin's health.

For this reason, people prefer wearing bamboo clothes, including robes next to the skin. On the other hand, when you choose non-sustainable clothing with less moisture-absorbing properties, your skin will swell and become wrinkled, making it more prone to damage.

UV Absorption

A 2021 research study published on NCBI highlights that bamboo is famous for its ultraviolet protection and can resist 98% UV rays. It has UPF 50+. Companies focusing on sustainability usually blend bamboo with cotton to improve the fabric's airy characteristics and moisture-wicking abilities.

Properties of Cotton Fabric

Cotton is one of the lightest, softest, and eco-friendliest materials. It has multiple applications, including garments like shirts, pants, tunics, dresses, bed sheets, towels, robes, etc. Besides, the material has excellent absorption, dryness, and color retention properties. In addition, vegan skincare companies use cotton extract and cottonseed oil to produce sustainable products.

Soft and Comfortable

Cotton is a soft and comfortable material because it is a natural hollow fiber, allowing air to pass through it efficiently, reliably, and quickly. That's why most men and women prefer wearing cotton clothes, such as shirts, t-shirts, pants, bathrobes, etc.

Although materials like polyester and nylon are comfortable, they are not soft and breathable enough compared to cotton. In addition, cotton is a fluffy fiber made of cellulose.

The fibers are fine enough with excellent softness and breathability properties. For instance, when you wear a robe made of cotton in summer, it will feel cool and comfortable against your skin.

Natural Fiber

According to Science Direct, cotton is a natural fiber like silk, wool, and linen. However, cotton fibers come from plants compared to wool (sheep fur) and cocoons (silkworms). Besides, cotton fibers are 90% to 100% made of cellulose, making them more sustainable than animal-based products.

 natural cotton fiber


Research highlights that cotton fibers are naturally hollow, soft, and cool, with excellent absorbing properties. Cotton can hold 27 times more water than its weight, improving its moisture-wicking properties and standing up against high temperatures and abrasion wear.

Durable and Breathable

According to PBS, cotton is one of the most durable materials with high tensile strength. The increased tensile strength makes cotton durable, solid, and resistant to tear and other damage.

Open University highlights that cotton has a strong cellular structure, making it resistant to tears. Cotton is 30% stronger when wet and can withstand hot and cold water. Moreover, cotton wicks moisture from the body and ensures airflow through the fabric. So this allows the heat to quickly escape from the body.

Applications of Bamboo and Cotton Fabric  

Bamboo and cotton fabrics have versatile properties and are the most widely used materials in the textile industry. Manufacturers use these materials to make clothes, towels, bathrobes, bandages, sanitary napkins, masks, and nurse wears. Companies use bamboo to make combs, pins, makeup, removing pads/rounds, etc.   

Similarly, companies use cotton to make woven fabric, including denim, canvas, damask, flannel, etc. People also use cotton-made clothing, bed sheets, and towels. Cottonseed oil is a sustainable skincare ingredient with rich vitamin E, an antioxidant that improves your skin and speeds up wound healing.

Bamboo Makeup Remover Pads

Makeup remover pads made of bamboo are soft, comfortable, reliable, washable, and reusable. You can use bamboo removing pads or rounds to remove dirt, dust, sweat, oil, and makeup from your face.

Purchasing high-quality bamboo pads are essential to making the most of this vegan product. Hebe Botanica is a Leaping Bunny-approved company that offers "Reusable Bamboo Makeup Remover Pads" of 70% bamboo and 30% cotton. The product is perfect for all skin types, including normal, dry, oily, and combination.

Cotton Robe

Robes made of cotton are softer and more comfortable than other materials. It has excellent moisture absorption properties and is thin enough to stay lightweight on your skin. The robe wicks the moisture away from your skin, drying it faster.

For instance, Waffle Terry Cotton Robe dries more quickly than conventional materials, preventing moisture harboring, bacteria, mildew, and mold growth. So, you can use this comfortable robe to feel luxurious and comfortable.  

Final Words

Both bamboo and cotton are eco-friendly materials. However, considering the properties of each material, bamboo is more sustainable/environmentally friendly than cotton. Both materials have a wide range of applications in various industries, including textile, fashion, and skincare. Contact us today for more information.



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