Bamboo: the building material of the futureComments Off on Bamboo: the building material of the future
It grows like weed, is strong, flexible, light and also very beautiful. Bamboo is not that the terrible usurer who drives despair with exaggerated expansionist garden owners? Right. What is also true: bamboo fits perfectly into the botanical living trend that has been declared one of the most important in 2018.
Botanical interior, ie a few large green plants in the house, and furniture and accessories of, for example, rattan, cork, seagrass or bamboo. The latter is so hot that designers around the world are bending about new applications.
The Chinese are eagerly looking for a new touch. Most products are too old-fashioned, however beautifully made. That is why the Chinese want to make a renewal. They want to do this with a number of designers because they are known to think out of the box.
It is durable, strong, flexible and light. Not surprising that bamboo is embraced as ‘the new wood’. Almost new weekly bamboo products are coming onto the market that meet western tastes. From cheerful children’s tableware, dot socks and cool sunglasses to nice furniture, stylish chargers for the smartphone and eccentric bikes made from bamboo.
Bicycle made of bamboo
When a structural engineer introduced his first super strong bike with a frame of bamboo in the Netherlands six years ago, consumers were still not very interested. A matter of getting used to, apparently, because now he sells racing bikes, mountain bikes, city bikes and deluxe city bikes.
The sustainable character of his bicycles, whose frame in Uganda or Ghana is made with locally grown bamboo, appeals to a very diverse audience. From cycling freaks who want to race on a model that no one else has to a doctor who worries about the future of the world for his grandchildren. They are people who have little to do with the disposable society and keep nice things. Ugandans use tree bark for the connections in the frame.
Bamboo makes significant leaps forward thanks to all new applications. At MASTHO Bamboo Sunglasses they see the demand for sunglasses, floors, decking and façade cladding of bamboo grow strongly. Also popular: fences of black stems.
People are looking for alternatives to the increasingly scarce tropical hardwood. Then there is not much more beautiful than bamboo: a natural product, great strength and no forests need to be cut down. In China, the grasses shoot out of the ground. Some species can grow up to a meter per day. This is one of the reasons why bamboo is called the raw material of the 21st century. They always search for the oldest strains for their own products. By harvesting it, the rest of the forest only grows louder. It is just like with your lawn at home: by mowing often it becomes even more beautiful.
The company is doing so well that it recently addressed the Climate Summit in Paris about what the material can mean for the future. The only disadvantage of bamboo that we can think of is the price. Bamboo is less cheap than many people think. Before you have your basic material, you are busy. Harvesting, cutting, compaction … Only a small part of the sometimes 35 meters high stems is suitable for making planks. The rest is for other things like chopsticks, placemats and curtains.
TiMeBoo imports a whole bamboo range from the Far East. We just have beautiful coffee cups inside; colorful, made from bamboo pulp with corn. You can just do it in the dishwasher. What is doing very well is the attaché case. Whoever arrives, makes a statement; you have style and care about the environment. Also, more and more customers are discovering how wonderful bamboo textiles are. Towels, T-shirts, and guaranteed no sweaty feet with bamboo socks.’’
Get used to
That the market still has to get used to bamboo clothing is partly due to the price tag. There can not be offered clothes for a few euros, but there is a change going on. More and more people are embracing the idea of good and sustainable, driving electric cars and buying their meat from the organic butcher.
Another designer once made a chair of bamboo. She sees a lot of potential in the material. It is very different from wood. Stiff, yet flexible. I want to discover what else we can do with the hollow trunk. In China it is used in everyday chairs and stools. By sanding the outer layer completely smooth, the trunk looks and feels much tighter. There are still great opportunities for bamboo.