We are so excited to have you feature on our blog! Tell us a little bit about yourself, your brand and how it started.
Back in 2015, founder Joshua van den Hurk, went on a trip to Indonesia. On the island of Bali, he got in touch with a local guy named Simon. He had a beautiful small restaurant, which he made completely out of bamboo. For the next weeks, he went there after every surf session.
After graduating in 2018, the initial plan was to set up a plastic collection centre in Bali.
Fishermen would fish for plastic, for a fair salary, and the plastic would be transformed into building materials. Joshua got back in touch with Simon. By then, Simon had started producing bamboo straws and was looking for a market for his product. So the two partnered up, and Joshua decided to put the plastic collection plan on hold and focus on his new company, called, The Bamboovement. Joshua’s brother, Ainu, and their friend Marco bundled their energies for the same goal. To keep creating innovative products that benefit the user as much as it does the planet. With the revenue generated by The Bamboovement we aim to set up a non-profit organization to reduce ocean plastic even further.
You mentioned you’re a surfer and a diver, is that where your love of the ocean began?
Surfing at a young age and diving at numerous reefs throughout the world has definitely fuelled my love for the ocean. By visiting all these places around the world I saw the effect that humans have on our planet.The world below and above the surface is so incredible and rich in wildlife and biodiversity that I felt a strong need to do my part in protecting it. Whether it’s plastic pollution, overfishing or acidification, the fact is that our oceans are having a hard time at the moment.
We love your mission as a brand. We do need to tackle plastic pollution. What tips and advice can you give someone starting their own journey towards a plastic free home?
Turning to a plastic-free lifestyle can seem overwhelming at first. Nowadays, we use so many types of plastic throughout our daily lives that people often think that it’s impossible to use less plastic. My advice would be to start small. Start for instance by taking a look at your bathroom. Maybe you can try out a shampoo bar instead of a shampoo bottle. Or use a biodegradable toothbrush instead of a plastic one. By making small changes on a daily basis you’re doing an incredible job to reduce your plastic footprint.
So the beautiful thing about bamboo is that it grows incredibly fast But it doesn’t stop there. It also stores 35% more carbon than any other type of tree. Making it a great partner in reducing our carbon footprint.
The type of bamboo we use for our products is called MOSO bamboo. So people often rightly wonder if using bamboo products isn’t going to cut down the habitats of the panda. The great thing about MOSO bamboo is that it grows so fast. So the branches are located high on the stem, which is out of reach for the panda. Luckily, the panda still has about 1.600 other species of bamboo which it can feed on.
You’ve teamed up with the International Association of Human Values (IAHV) and Eden Reforestation Projects (ERP). Can you tell us a bit more about this partnership?
We met Shailen Mittal, a core management member of IAHV UK, at an event in London. Since the start, it has been apparent that there is a shared aspiration for restoring the world’s healthy state. He is the Climate Action Now (CAN) project leader, IAHV’s initiative to raise funds to plant as many trees as possible NOW. Shailen’s open-mindedness, passionate drive, and network paved the way for our new partnership. Through IAHV, we linked with ERP, a world expert in tree planting. They are operative in 8 different countries and have planted over 440 million trees. Their work inspired us to commit to planting trees as well. How exactly? Well, very simple. We donate one tree to ERP for every order.
You also have a collaboration with Recup and Slow Food around the education of plastic which we think is amazing. Can you tell us a bit more about it?
Offering sustainable products is one thing. But we think it shouldn’t stop there. Education is key in informing people about the changes we can make ourselves to live a more environmental friendly lifestyle. That’s why we teamed up with Recup and Slow Food. Together we have given classes to high school and primary school students. To teach them about the effects our lives can have on the planet. We are hoping to boost our school program more in the following years to educate as many young minds as we can.
You offer fantastic amenity kits for airlines, hotels and bed and breakfasts. Can you tell us what’s included in these and how they can benefit your business?
It might not come as a surprise, but hotels and airlines use an enormous amount of plastic. That’s why we started creating plastic-free amenity kits. They contain items such as bamboo toothbrushes, toothpaste tablets, mini shampoo bars and reusable make-up pads. This way we want to inspire guests with a plastic-free lifestyle once they board a plane or enter a hotel bathroom. These guests might have never heard of toothpaste tablets, however, once they get in touch with them we hope that it can inspire them to live a more conscious lifestyle.
Sustainable products are also available to buy from your website. Which ones are your personal favourites?
My personal favourites are definitely the shampoo bar (Vitamin Sea) and our bamboo comb. The great thing about a shampoo bar is that they equal about 3 - 4 shampoo bottles so they last for ages! In the past I used to use a plastic comb or hairbrush, but I love the little head massage you get from using a comb/ hairbrush with wooden pens.
Another product I’m very excited about, that we yet have to release, are our 100% plastic-free disposable razors. It has taken us about 1.5 years to create this product, and we are very excited to launch it in July.
Finally, we have to ask... Do you have a favourite houseof light?
It might not come as a surprise, but my absolute favourite is the Blue Diffuser Wall Light. It creates the feeling like you’re putting a touch of the ocean onto your wall. I mean who doesn’t want to have a feeling of being at the ocean while you’re working or when you just wake up? I also believe that the story behind this lamp (and all the others in your collection of course) is very inspirational. You quickly become unaware of how big your carbon footprint is when purchasing and using a lamp. So big hat off to you for calculating all this data and to compensate the carbon that is being emitted through supporting a hydro plant project.