How do you recycle bamboo pillows?

The trend of using bamboo in fabrics for clothing and bedding has increased in recent years. Partly due to its status as an ethical and sustainable resource, but also because of its versatility and luxurious feel.

You can extend these eco-friendly credentials by recycling but just how do you recycle a bamboo pillow?

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How to recycle bamboo pillows.

Once your pillow is worn out and old, threadbare or full of holes, it can be fully recycled, or even composted.

Even if it looks in good shape, manufacturers recommend replacing your pillows, whatever they’re made from, at least every three years for hygiene purposes.

  1. Check the label to make sure it’s 100% bamboo
  2. Open the pillow and remove the filling
  3. If the filling is bamboo, pull it apart and place it in your compost heap to biodegrade, or into your garden waste bin to be commercially composted.
  4. If the cover is bamboo, cut it into smaller pieces before composting it the same way.
  5. If either your cover or filling is not bamboo (some pillows only have a bamboo cover) then the filling will need to go into your general waste bin.

The good news is that most bamboo items 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).

You may need to remove buttons, elastics or zips depending on the item of clothing being composted (Or be prepared to be fishing out these items from your compost heap in a year’s time!)

You might ask whether you can do this with any all-natural fibres and you’d be correct, but bamboo also has some additional ecological and ethical advantages over cotton, linen or hemp garments.

Bamboo fabrics typically take around one year to decompose in an active and maintained compost heap or bin.

What is it made of?

When bamboo fabric is created by mechanical processes instead of chemical processes it’s recyclable, biodegradable and compostable.

The mechanical process involves grinding the woody stems and then applying natural enzymes to break the bamboo cellulose walls. This stage leaves a stodgy soup of plant fibres and the finest, softest fibres are combed out and spun into yarn and fabric. 

Alternative upcycle ideas

Many animal shelters will accept old pillows and other bedding items to use with their animals so it’s always worth asking.

If the pilling from your bamboo pillow is 100% bamboo and biodegradable it can be used as a mulch around the base of plants with the added bonus of discouraging slugs and birds from snacking on your newly sprouting seedlings. The fibres will degrade over time into the soil acting as compost.

Before deconstructing your pillow it can be washed on a cool, gentle wash cycle of your machine and reused as pet bedding. Either using the stuffing and a new cover to sew a smaller pet bed, or just covered with some new fabric and use it as is. 

As with any fabric, its use can be extended by cutting up the pillow covering and using the fabric for cleaning rags around the home. This extends the life of the fabric a little longer and can still be composted or recycled once used. 

Eco Friendly and sustainable

The reason you’re even looking at switching to bamboo is of course the fact that its usage, growth and manufacturing process have far less of an impact on the planet than other fabric sources, even organic cotton.

Unlike cotton, bamboo doesn’t require any additional fertilizers or pesticides to grow and can regenerate itself from the roots. This means no replanting which means less machinery and fewer resources such as oil and gas required in order to produce it. 

Bamboo also absorbs almost 30% more carbon dioxide than other plants and trees, including cotton.

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 do you wash bamboo pillows?

Bamboo fabric keeps the strength of the bamboo plant and is incredibly durable, outlasting cotton equivalents when cared for properly.

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

Washing at a cool temperature or a cold wash helps to maintain the shape of the pillow and reduce possible shrinkage.

How do you dry bamboo pillows?

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 item 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.

Looking to switch2bamboo for pillows?

Orthopedic Hypoallergenic Pillow

These pillows are hypoallergenic which means they do not contain any materials that are likely to cause allergies.

Designed and manufactured using only real bamboo fabric which offers antimicrobial and anti-allergy properties.

Sleepsia Bamboo Pillow

Sleepsia bamboo pillows are premium bamboo pillows with a shredded memory foam filling.

This shredded memory foam conforms to the shape of your head and neck offering unrivalled support whilst you sleep.

Sleepsia bamboo pillows allow for better air circulation, preventing perspiration and temperature changes meaning a more comfortable and clean sleep for you.

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