Are Organic Bamboo Gloves Biodegradable?

Are Organic Bamboo Gloves Biodegradable?

It’s reasonable to wonder if your organic bamboo gloves are biodegradable or not as they commonly have elasticated cuffs, special designs or, in the case of gardening gloves, an extra coating on them to make them thornproof or extra grippy.

The good news is that most bamboo items of clothing are biodegradable, even if that means taking some care to remove the non-biodegradable parts first (the top-selling bamboo jeans from BAM have a button which unscrews and no rivets to make it easier to recycle this way).

Let’s take a look at the different types of organic bamboo gloves and what needs to be done to them in order to put them in your recycling, or straight onto the compost heap at home.

Moisturizing Bamboo Gloves

Also known as eczema gloves, these thin, lightweight bamboo gloves tend to have a small percentage of lycra, typically 5%, woven into the fabric in order to make them fit comfortably.

This means there will be no separate elastic cuff to remove before recycling them and the small amount of lycra content should not affect the biodegradable qualities or the time it takes to compost down.

Bamboo clothing typically takes around 1 year to decompose in an active and maintained compost heap or bin.

Bamboo Exfoliating/Bath Gloves

Popular bathing gloves such as these baby bath gloves are commonly manufactured with a higher percentage of lycra or spandex, usually 20%

This is to ensure a closer fit and some grip on the gloves when wet.

Unfortunately, this will mean the spandex will remain non-composted in your pile once the bamboo has long since decomposed. 

Gardening Bamboo Gloves

Gardening gloves, such as these Bamboo gloves have coatings which make the disposal, recycling and composting of them more difficult.

These gloves have a nitrile coating, the same material from which most non-latex surgical gloves are made.

Nitrile gloves can take around 100 years to break down so when choosing gardening gloves it’s better to find them with a natural latex coating.

Latex gloves break down fully in about 5 years so although probably not appropriate for your garden compost heap, they would be perfectly suited to a commercial composting process so if you’re lucky enough to have your garden waste collected for recycling they can be placed in with that.

These HKBTCH gloves have a latex coating making them a perfect switch2bamboo.

Reasons to switch 2 bamboo gardening gloves

A gardener may choose a gardening glove made from bamboo fabric over traditional cotton gloves for several reasons:

  1. Sustainability: Bamboo is a highly sustainable and renewable resource. It is a fast-growing grass that requires very little water and no pesticides or fertilizers to grow. On the other hand, cotton production requires a lot of water and chemicals, which can harm the environment.
  2. Comfort: Bamboo fabric is soft, breathable, and lightweight, making it more comfortable to wear than traditional cotton gloves. This is especially important for gardeners who spend long hours in the garden and need to be able to move their hands freely.
  3. Durability: Bamboo fabric is known for its durability and strength, which makes it more resistant to wear and tear than cotton. This means that bamboo gloves are likely to last longer and provide better protection for the hands.
  4. Antimicrobial properties: Bamboo fabric has natural antimicrobial properties, which means it can help prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi. This is particularly beneficial for gardeners who work with soil and plants, which can harbor harmful microorganisms.
  5. Moisture-wicking: Bamboo fabric is highly moisture-wicking, which means it can absorb and evaporate moisture quickly. This is important for gardeners who sweat while working in the garden or who need to work in wet conditions.
  6. Hypoallergenic: Bamboo fabric is hypoallergenic, which means it is less likely to cause allergic reactions than cotton. This makes it a good choice for gardeners with sensitive skin or allergies.

Overall, bamboo gloves offer a more sustainable, comfortable, and durable option for gardeners who want to protect their hands while working in the garden.

How to make bamboo clothing items last longer.

Let’s face it, the best way to be less wasteful is to make the stuff we have last longer before we need to recycle or compost them.

Taking care when washing and drying your bamboo clothing will make it last longer, keep it in shape and feel softer than ever.

How to wash bamboo clothing

When washing bamboo-based items they should be washed in a gentle detergent as you would wool or other delicate items, on a gentle cycle of your washing machine.

How to dry bamboo clothing

Using a drier on very low heat is okay, but using too high a heat can damage the bamboo fibres or shrink your item.

Drying your gloves indoors with artificial heat (radiators and air vents) is better but try not to leave them directly on the heat source. 

Drying your items outside is by far the best method. There’s no risk of over-drying which can damage the fibres, the moisture is carried away rather than collecting in your home and you get the added benefit of having that gorgeous outdoors aroma.

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