Global analysts report that 2.2 billion people use bamboo for housing, clothing, energy and more. Staring at my closet, I notice I'm clearly not clued into what a third of the world loves.
Fortunately, San Diego is now on board with the international trend with the opening of Cariloha, the city's only ALL bamboo retail store. The eco-friendly retailer, like its other Caribbean and Mexican locations, is constructed entirely of bamboo, and showcases bamboo-made bath, bedding and clothing items. I had my reservations about slipping into sheets made of the same material chomped on by pandas, but I'm now a Cariloha convert.
"When you think of bamboo, large green shoots in the jungle somewhere likely come to mind," said Jeff Pedersen, Cariloha president and CEO. "Not many people know that bamboo can actually be husked and separated into ultra‐soft fabric for making apparel and other goods at little‐to‐no risk on the environment. In fact, some species of bamboo can grow up to four feet per day. It’s one of the most renewable resources on the planet.”
Besides growing faster than the weeds on my hillside, bamboo happens to be cooler than cotton, keeping me content in my sensitive slumber. Notably softer that cotton, bamboo fabric is surprisingly nicer to the touch. It's common to hear many "oooo!" and "ahhhhs!" as shoppers feel swabs of sample fabrics in the Cariloha store, I noted.
What's more compelling is bamboo's naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic properties. Cariloha sells a number of sock varieties, which now fill my gym bag, just for these reasons. My colleague is a fan of the kids' line of shirts, particularly for her four-year-old twin boys who commonly find themselves in "bacteria baths of mischief."
The San Diego store is located at 437 J Street in the Gaslamp. Visit Cariloha.com to learn more and start your eco-friendly shopping spree.