Clothing is big business for agriculture, with conventional cotton representing 10% of all agriculture in the world. However, production methods are causing serious damage to the environment, biodiversity and human health. Cotton is notoriously pesticide-intensive; approximately 25% of global pesticide usage is attributed to cotton production. This has resulted in a search caused for alternative materials from which to make our clothes and other textiles.
Bamboo is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to cotton in the production of clothing. Bamboo is the foundation on which BAM Bamboo Clothing have built their brand, working on the basis that bamboo is a sustainable product. BAM has set an aspiration to become an ‘Impact Positive’ company; this means that they are not just reducing the negative impact of their activities on the planet but ensuring that their activities have an overall positive impact.
In order to achieve this, they needed to understand the environmental and social impacts of the bamboo supply chain to recognise where there might be risks and opportunities. ADAS worked with BAM to carry out a high-level environmental and social impact assessment of bamboo production in China, where BAM is sourcing the bamboo used in its clothing.