Another birthday, another slightly improbable gift from my beloved other half…who, it must be said, is still very much on the side of the tree-huggers.
This year it was a running top made from bamboo. No, really. None of that planet-destroying man-made fibre nonsense. Nooo. I am now the proud owner of a running shirt made entirely from this most sustainable and fast-growing of all our natural resources.
And it’s not just normal bamboo fabric either – my top comes from a company that goes so far as to use organic bamboo, whereby they spurn the use of bleaches in the manufacturing process. It’s even bio-degradable for pity’s sake!
But is it any good as a running top you ask? Well, surprisingly, yes it is. The fabric itself feels softer than cotton, but unlike cotton, doesn’t rub at your skin after a few miles. It also wicks sweat away remarkably well, and appears to make good on the manufacturer’s claim to resist the bacteria that causes strong odours to form in more conventional sportswear. Not to put too fine a point on it, I’ve now run 4 times in this top, and it still smells as fresh as a daisy.
It really is very nice indeed. And if it also turns out to stay in good condition after a few washes, I can see myself investing in all manner of bamboo running apparel.
The question is though, can wearing bamboo offset one’s karmic footprint as a runner? In much the same way that some people like to plant a tree to offset the carbon footprint of their holiday flight, I now feel that by wearing bamboo to run in, as opposed to the oil-based alternative, I’m canceling out the moral downsides of my running habit.
So next time I have to buy some shoes that have, by all accounts, been made using gallons of our dwindling and damaging supplies of oil, I shall simply acquire some bamboo shorts to cancel out the damage, karmically speaking.
Unless, of course, panda bears are going hungry over this somewhere, bamboo fabric really could be the material that we ethically-inclined runners have been looking for…