Is Viscose Bamboo (aka Rayon) Natural? We don't believe so.
If you scour the shopping sphere like Amazon for bamboo clothing, you'll notice that a lot of products such as socks are listed as "bamboo" when they're likely Viscose Bamboo, a synthesized fiber also known as Rayon. Though we don't believe the sellers mean to deceive the consumers, we do believe that more clarification is needed so that the consumers as well as the sellers are better informed about what they're buying and in turn supporting.
In short, Viscose is a process where natural fibers such as wood pulp, bamboo and/or hemp is melted into a liquid gel state using Lye (sodium hydroxide) and then treated with Carbon Disulfide. The gel is like super glue where it dries immediately when in contact with air and therefore can easily be spun into very fine fibers hence making them incredibly soft once weaved back into textile form. Legally, when the fibers are indeed Rayon, it has to be labeled as so and not as 'Bamboo.'
Though the ingenuity behind the Viscose method is quite revolutionary back in 1910 when it was first introduced in the US market, the Carbon Disulfide chemical is known to be toxic for the environment. Additionally, the viscose process requires high water and energy usage and therefore believed to contribute heavily towards air and water pollution. For that reason, Viscose Bamboo had been shunned by health groups world wide once the public realize that the process entails. And because we also care to be as environmentally conscious, we also took a step back from consuming Viscose products such as Rayon. Whether or not you do, it's your choice and it's all good--no judging here!
In the past, we've written a blog about Viscose Hemp that surprisingly had gained a lot of traction and if interested, please feel free to read it by clicking the below link. It'll touch on some of the information shared here but should give you a deeper understanding of the process. =)