Bamboo is really trendy in the zero-waste world and we get it, it’s a pretty great plant! But bamboo doesn’t always make sense. In Cambodia the development of bamboo beyond using it for house construction or poles is really stunted. Bamboo use here is nothing like Vietnam or Thailand and the skills to manipulate and use it in more intricate products are pretty rare. What we do have here is plenty of coconut wood!
When new coconut trees are planted to replace old coconut trees which bear fruit for around 60 years before dying, the tree trunk often ends up as waste. Local carpenters and woodworkers handcraft our custom items from this wood. Coconut wood isn’t extensively used here, and a lot of craftsmen in the countryside certainly don’t primarily use it (and sometimes give us quite an odd expression as to why we would want to use it when it is often burned!), but it is more common to find for certain products and it’s sustainable. There is no large-scale commercial cultivation of it here or any big industry for it.
Although it’s a softer wood, it is hard-wearing and resistant to heat and liquid, and naturally anti-bacterial. Our wood is of the medium dark variety and, we think, pretty beautiful! It makes for pretty good looking floors and furniture too.
It’s a good case of how working with your local resources and options can provide the better eco-option.
Shop our coconut wood cutlery here.