Ettitude Bamboo Waffle Towels Review [Staff Tested]      

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Written by Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT


Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT

Sustainability Expert

Leigh Matthews is a sustainability expert and long time vegan. Her work on solar policy has been published in Canada's National Observer.


We tested one of our top picks for organic, sustainable towels, Ettitude’s Bamboo Waffle Towel.

The trouble with living somewhere beautiful is that we get a near constant stream of visitors, which means we feel compelled to have a decent set of guest towels and bedding. Most of our towels had seen better days and become dog towels or cleaning scraps, so I set about looking for a set of guest towels made with sustainable materials. Finally landing on Ettitude, I ordered the Waffle Towel Set in Moon.

Here’s my take on Ettitude towels and the company as a whole. Spoiler alert! They’re excellent!

Table of Contents
  1. Ettitude Bamboo Waffle Towel Set
  2. First impressions
  3. Folding, hanging, and using
  4. Ettitude Bamboo Waffle Towel Set
  5. Ettitude Bamboo Waffle Towel Set specifications and certifications
  6. Ettitude’s sustainability credentials
  7. Final thoughts on Ettitude’s Bamboo Waffle Towel Set

Ettitude Bamboo Waffle Towel Set

Leaf Score

Highlight: Super sustainable, highly absorbent, soft, luxury waffle texture towels from a company that cares about people and planet.

What we like

  • Impeccable sustainability credentials
  • Eco-friendly packaging
  • No dye or run off
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Soft

What could be better

  • The towels are small, we were hoping for more material

First impressions

When my Ettitude delivery arrived (which was fast), I was a little perplexed, given the small size of the box. Ettitude does market these highly absorbent towels as being great if you’re short on shelf space, but I did end up wanting more towel than I got.

I loved that the towels came in just a simple cardboard box and were well packaged in reusable drawstring bags. These bags are made with recycled plastic and have become handy wet bags for cloth diapering on the go!

The towels themselves are also rather delightful, with a lovely waffle texture and a distinctive aesthetic. The Moon color is a nice pale blue/gray that will work with many bathroom color schemes, and each towel and face cloth has a handy hook that’s firmly stitched on.

I did notice several loose threads on all of the towels even before washing them. This was pretty disappointing, though the overall quality still seems great. I gave them a preliminary wash (though they come pre-washed) and, because it was a very soggy day in the Pacific Northwest, dried them in the dryer on low.

As far as I can tell, there was no dye run-off from these towels, and no further threads loosened. The only downside was that machine drying led to a bit of (thankfully, temporary) shrinkage and made them feel a bit stiff instead of soft. The towels softened up and relaxed again once used and hung, but line drying is definitely preferable for these towels! (And for the environment.)

Folding, hanging, and using

Ettitude towels

Ettitude’s waffle towels are absolutely meant to hang by their hooks rather than be draped over a rail like any old towel. These towels look, frankly, a bit silly when draped. The waffle texture and side hems mean the edges aren’t straight like on most towels, so they end up looking almost like they’re misshapen or have shrunk in an odd way.

The shape of these towels also makes them a nightmare to fold. I’ve struggled to fold them flat or stack them neatly. This means we’ve mostly ended up not using them for guests because my wife has very high standards for such things (to which I try earnestly to adhere!).

When hung by their hooks, these towels look fantastic, assuming your bathroom aesthetic matches. For us, with a very dated 1970s bathroom in need of a major reno, the towels end up looking totally out of place and, dare I say, a bit sloppy and low quality. This is absolutely a mismatch of aesthetics, so if you have a lovely modern bathroom or a nicer older bathroom than we do, chances are the Ettitude Waffle Towels will look great.

As for use, these towels are a lot smaller than I anticipated. While I didn’t order or expect a giant cozy bath sheet, I did hope the bath towel would be big enough to at least wrap around me after a shower. I’m a little shorter than average (5’6”) and this 55-inch-long towel is definitely a little risqué on the scamper from main bathroom to bedroom. The bath sheet is a tad longer at 59-inches but this isn’t included in the towel set and has to be ordered separately.

The nice thing about these towels is that they are very absorbent, deceptively so, and dry very fast. The light, breathable, moisture-wicking fabric has a honeycomb design that makes it more absorbent than regular flat weave towels.

This is a great feature of bamboo fibers and something we appreciate here as it can take a while for towels to dry in the very humid climate in coastal BC. For cotton towels, this can end up creating a musty smell even after one use.

Ettitude Bamboo Waffle Towel Set

Leaf Score

Highlight: Super sustainable, highly absorbent, soft, luxury waffle texture towels from a company that cares about people and planet.

Ettitude Bamboo Waffle Towel Set specifications and certifications

Regular readers at LeafScore will know that I am generally not a fan of bamboo as a fiber. While the plant is fast-growing and helps sequester carbon, the chemical process needed to break down these hard fibers is very toxic. Usually, I recommend only bamboo products made of the hard wood, like flooring, furniture, bowls, plates, cutlery, and even houses!

Why did I buy these bamboo towels, then? Well, because Ettitude has a different approach to most manufacturers, using more sustainable methods to create soft bamboo fibers.

First, Ettitude sources its bamboo from Forest Stewardship Council certified forests. It then uses this bamboo to make CleanBamboo™ fabric. This is 100% bamboo lyocell, made without harmful chemicals and certified to Oeko-Tex Standard 100. The closed-loop system reuses 98% of the water, and the run-off is non-toxic, making this fiber far better for people and planet than conventional cotton and synthetic fibers and bamboo viscose, rayon, and modal.

Who is CleanBamboo™ different to other types of bamboo fibers? As noted, this process is non-toxic, using a solvent that won’t harm people or the environment. The solution is also reused up to 200 times to turn hard bamboo into soft fibers for use in bedding, towels, robes, and other products.

Ettitude offers an environmental impact assessment for each of its products, which is a great way to see how everyday purchasing decisions can make a big impact. Unfortunately, it’s not clear which product is being assessed in the set, nor what it’s being compared to. So, figures like ‘25% water scarcity savings’ mean very little, despite sounding impressive. Similarly, the 41% CO2 equivalent global warming savings is impressive but meaningless without knowing what it’s being compared to.

In addition, things like ‘Eutrophication savings’ and ‘Abiotic depletion savings’ barely mean anything to me, let alone someone who doesn’t research and write about this stuff for a living.

I suspect that the comparisons are meant to be to conventional cotton as this is the fiber Ettitude uses as a comparison on the Impact page of its website.

Colors and sizes

The Waffle Towel Set is available in Sage, River, Natural, Slate, and Cloud. It seems that the Moon colorway I received has been renamed to Sage.

The towels in the Waffle weave measure as follows;

  • Face Washer – 12 inches long and wide
  • Hand Towel – 28 inches long, 16 inches wide
  • Bath Towel – 55 inches long, 28 inches wide
  • Bath Sheet – 59 inches long, 39 inches wide
  • Hooded Baby Towel – 33 inches long and wide, with a 7-inch hood.

The towel set includes one bath towel, one hand towel, and one washcloth in the reusable drawstring bag. The towels are pre-washed, meaning no shrinkage on first wash. Ettitude recommends you machine wash cold on gentle or delicate setting with like fabrics, then tumble dry low or line dry. To reverse shrinkage, machine wash cold and air dry. You can also iron these towels at a low temperature, though I suspect they’d not look particularly good afterward.

The Waffle collection also includes robes, which I think would be absolutely delightful and really give you a spa-like experience at home.

Ettitude’s sustainability credentials

Ettitude impressed me with its attention to detail and clear commitment to sustainability. In addition to the use of eco-friendly materials and processes, the company packages products minimally in reusable, recycled materials. Ettitude is a signatory to the Responsible Packaging Movement and is working to be plastic-free by the end of 2022.

Ettitude takes pains to use ‘every extra inch of our 100% biodegradable fabric to create the reusable drawstring bags that carry our sheets’. It is committed to being a zero-waste company, with take-back and recommerce programs helping on the way to this goal. In 2020, Ettitude launched a textile recycling program (Loop) in Australia, which has already helped divert 1,146 kg of textile waste from landfill and prevented 4,011kg of greenhouse gases.

To minimize waste, Ettitude donates returned or faulty items to animal shelters and local homeless shelters, though it is also looking for ways to restore and renew items to extend their life. The company also aims to launch at least one upcycled product by 2025.

Ettitude produces its goods in factories audited by SMETA and BSCI, ensuring fair and safe working conditions. The company also has its own Code of Conduct agreement that all its factories and suppliers must adhere to.

Ettitude is a member of 1% for the Planet and increased its contribution by a staggering 19.8% in 2021 compared to the year prior. In 2021, the company took steps to reduce its carbon footprint and measured and offset its impact to become Climate Neutral certified. This included cutting down air freight by 89% and planting 5.5 hectares of, you guessed it, bamboo in Nicaragua through CarbonFund.

The company is working with the Science Based Targets Initiative to set carbon reduction targets in 2022, with a goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner. It has also stated a goal of removing all company carbon emissions (including historical emissions) by 2025.

Ettitude is also committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and has a Head of People & Culture and an internal DEI committee. It actively recruits in ways that foster greater diversity in its workforce and offers scholarships and programs to support marginalized students and potential employees.

Final thoughts on Ettitude’s Bamboo Waffle Towel Set

Ettitude doesn’t just offer towels and robes. It also uses its signature CleanBamboo™ to make bed sheets, comforters, eye masks, and more. Those comforters and eye masks are filled with recycled PET (from plastic bottles) as an alternative to down.

Overall, the Ettitude Waffle Bamboo collection is a hit in our house. We love the softness of the towels and face cloths and how they’re absorbent and dry quickly without getting musty. This collection is also great for sensitive skin as they don’t feel at all scratchy and are hypoallergenic.

Ettitude has a refreshing approach to business, with excellent sustainability credentials and quality products. I’d highly recommend them for towels, sheets, robes, and more, assuming their aesthetic suits yours.

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