Zhai Eco Collection
I was walking around i12 Katong and something caught my eye. I saw this little open concept store at B1 and it featured a clothing line made entirely of bamboo fibers. Curious, I took a closer look. Then I felt the fabric and boy was it smooth and comfortable! Even more so when you try it on.
Since then I was hooked. I always knew that eco-fashion was the new rage but in my mind I somehow always associated this with rough, coarse materials like burlap. I didn’t quite reconcile the image with cotton or softer fabrics which on hindsight is so silly of me because organic cotton especially Egyptian cotton is supposedly one of the most comfortable fabrics around.
Upon some deeper inspection and research, I found out that Zhai is actually a local brand that specialises in Bamboo clothing. You must be wondering how a hard piece of bamboo can be turned into fabric. Well, apparently bamboo isn’t a kind of tree, but rather, it is a type of grass and it takes only 3-4 years to fully mature compared to other plant species. As a result, it is a resource that continually regenerates so it makes sense to harness and harvest this resource because it is renewable.
Other wonderful benefits to using Bamboo in manufacturing clothing include:
- Anti bacterial and anti fungal
- Absorbs moisture and keeps skin breathable
- Odor Resistant
- Regulates body temperature; cools the body by three degrees
- Anti-static; prevents uncomfortable clinging of fabric to your body
- Aids in UV protection
- Good for sensitive skin
- Wrinkle resistant, light weight, dries quickly
- Greater longevity compared to cotton clothing
Aside from the long list of benefits, I actually like Zhai’s clothing because it is so minimalist in its design. I bought a pair of pants because it is so figure flattering and so comfortable. The perfect pants to wear for Pilates because it allows for ease of movement yet it remains odor resistant and breathable. And because the designs of their clothes are so simple and unassuming, it actually makes layering clothes a real dream. Mixing and matching clothes is also a breeze.
Some people might gripe over the lack of colours available (typically the collection comes in only 3 colours: black, grey and oatmeal) but I think that the neutral palette is in keeping with the naturalistic feel of eco-fashion. The other question is probably price. Eco-fashion does not come cheap and for some of its more basic designs eg. scoop neck t-shirt, $55 might seem like too steep a price to pay. But I guess there has to be a premium for cutting edge technology that seeks to balance monetary gain with environmental sustainability.
The key I think, is to pick something that is versatile to wear over and over again. My choice pick would be the Short Cardigan which has a shorter hem line at the back but a nice long waterfall drape in front. I can imagine the countless wardrobe permutations with this cardigan. Plus, with the weather getting chilly, $89 seems like a rather good investment.
So what are your thoughts on Zhai or Eco-fashion in general? Love it or hate it?