bambu

What would make two Portland natives, both with successful corporate careers, drop everything and start something new? Perhaps a revolutionary idea for a company, one that would take a material little known to the western world and change the sustainable home game forever? Yes, exactly that. And then some.

Picture this: It's pre 2000's and Jeff Dalkin and Rachel Speth, the co-founders of bambu, were living in Asia and working corporate jobs. Surrounded by such new settings, they discovered an eco-friendly, sustainable and versatile material they loved: bamboo. Immediately, the two began thinking bamboo was the next sustainable business breakthrough, but they had some questions: Can we create a profitable business that gives people not only affordable but quality products? And, can we do this using renewable materials while also reducing our reliance on plastic? With this in mind, the duo set out to learn everything there was to know about the wonders of bamboo.

During this time, Jeff kept his job at Ogilvy while Rachel resigned from her job at Nike. In 2003, after years of prepping, researching, and refining, bambu was finally ready for the real world! After two years of business, Jeff and Rachel moved from Thailand to Shanghai, China to source their bamboo locally, as well as employing their factories with local workers. Jeff soon thereafter left Ogilvy and the two put everything they had into bambu.

At bambu, they like to say Everything matters–and they mean it. From business decisions to customer care to their local employees, bambu strives to do the best they can every step of the way. Today, bambu is and continues to be a pioneer for bamboo manufacturing and sustainable home goods.
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Everything Matters

Born in Portland, Oregon. Proudly made in China. Bambu comes from a place that prides itself on local, homegrown, and eco-friendly values. But when founders Jeff and Rachel moved their business to China, they set out to change the negative conception people have of Chinese manufacturing. By emphasizing "handmadeness", bambu prioritizes the connection between a product, and a real person. They work directly with people that work with their hands; from farmers, to woodworkers, stitchers, and more. By sourcing their materials locally in Shanghai, they can ensure only the highest quality from their organic bamboo, reclaimed wood, hemp, and organic cotton. Most of their bamboo is certified USDA organic, with all of their bamboo being tested and approved pesticide-free and chemical-free. Not only is this better for consumer health, but it is better for their farmers as well. What's more, bambu sustainably harvests all their bamboo from wild groves rather than farmed plantations, protecting the native environment they live and work in. One of bambu's main goals is to reduce consumer reliance on plastic, especially single-use plastic. By offering biodegradable and compostable alternatives, they're working to shift the amount of plastic we as a community use. That's also why they partnered with the Plastic Pollution Coalition, a global alliance of businesses that are working towards being plastic free, striving towards a future without the toxic impacts that plastic pollution has on humans, animals and the environment. bambu puts lots of time and effort into each and every one of their products, but they pay even more close attention to children's items. That's why the entire bambu children's line is both kid safe, and kid approved. bambu follows every protocol and procedure of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which strictly regulates safety considerations on products. Bambu is also partnered with 1% for the Planet, a collective of businesses that pledge to donate 1% of their sales to support local and national environmental non-profits, and is also a certified B Corp. Bambu holds themselves, and their products, to a higher standard‚ also you can feel good knowing that every purchase supports local communities in Shanghai and Portland alike.

Time Well-Spent

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