It’s no surprise that the growing popularity and trendiness of “green living” has given rise to an entirely new subset in the global retail industry. With new and recent demands by the public that no longer exclusively includes the extremist eco-conscious microcosm, more sustainable products in retail aimed at the widespread general population are pushing through the niche market into the mainstream.
At the heart of this exponential increase in the green retail marketplace is the material bamboo that encompasses what sustainability represents while being chameleon enough to provide every type of eco-friendly product one could demand. On top of that, Bamboo has the capabilities to produce both quality and aesthetically pleasing products that are able to capture the interest of the mainstream public who are often set in their comfortable buying patterns that can be hazardous for the environment. This combination of sustainability, durability, versatility and beauty makes one wonder that if, while the future of capitalism is sure to be green, is the future of retail rooted in bamboo? All predictions and market trends are pointing towards the affirmative with the industry expected to be worth $25 billion in 2012. What was once overlooked as a predominantly third world material or decorative piece in tropical motifs is about to tidal wave through the global retail industry. Here’s why:
Since it can easily adapt easily to changing temperatures, climates, and soil conditions, bamboo can grow everywhere and in almost any condition except Antarctica. It is also naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-pest which makes the need for pesticides null and void. Bamboo produces greater biomass and 30% more oxygen than a hardwood forest of comparable size.
Bamboo grows on average 1.6 feet per hour and reaches maturity in about five years making it the fastest growing and most renewable plant on earth. Compare this to Oak, which grows on average 12 inches per year and can take 120 years to mature. To put this in perspective, a 60-foot tree cut for market takes 60 years to replace and a 60-foot bamboo cut for market takes 59 days to replace.
The tensile strength, or the ability to withstand stress, of bamboo surpasses that of steel. Bamboo’s tensile strength is 28,000 per square inch, while steel rates only 23,000 per square inch. That’s why bamboo is used as a building material in areas often wrought with earthquakes.
Bamboo is material that can and is used for almost everything. It is popular as a building material such as flooring, furniture and structures in earthquake-ridden areas. Bamboo products are a choice for clothing, textiles and even paper. It is found in cosmetics, tech gadgets, bicycles and even cuisine. In fact, there is not a single industry that bamboo doesn’t touch as it can even substitute for charcoal.
Bamboo not only produces more oxygen but helps to actually reduce carbon dioxide gases faster than other plants, which can help reverse the effects of global warming. Since it is highly adaptable to most climates and soil conditions it can help restore degraded and damaged lands. It also acts as a natural water control barrier, which helps reduce rain run off and soil erosion.
Simply put, bamboo is pretty. Its universally appealing aesthetic makes it popular for both those that lean towards trendy designs and those that favour a more classic look. Bamboo products have a smooth sleek texture that is pleasing to touch and symmetrical design pattern that people like to look at. It produces soft clothing, savory food, unique looking buildings and even good-looking gadgets.
Bamboo products are the new kings of the green and environmentally friendly retail market. With its flawless reputation and ability to “do it all” the trend towards bamboo becoming the future of all retail seems imminent.
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