Sustainable Sourcing and Materials

Coconut Bowls, Waste Wood and Bamboo Straws

Where do our Coconut Bowls come from?

It all starts in South Vietnam, on the riverbanks of the famous Mekong River, which runs through South East Asia from China, though Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam before entering the Pacific Ocean.

As the river meets the ocean, lies the Mekong Delta, which represents 12 districts where boats are the main means of transportation, through a vast maze of rivers, swamps and islands.

There is one district in particular, where land meets ocean and soil, sunshine and rain come together to create the perfect conditions for farming, the district is called Ben Tre, what we like to call "The land of Coconuts".

Ben Tre is home to 51,000 hectares of Coconut trees, that's more than 50% of the total size of the Ben Tre province, and it's here where the Coconuts that we turn into Coconut Bowls are harvested. 

Mature Ben Tre Coconuts are ethically harvested by hand at 10 - 12 months old, most commonly for their white meat, which is known to create some of the highest quality coconut oil in the world. For us, this means an extremely high quality coconut shell. Thick, strong and durable. 

Worldwide, billions of coconuts are harvested for their water, and white meat - and unfortunately, on almost all occasions the shells are considered waste, burned or discarded as landfill.



While coconut shells are 100% biodegradable, they take more than a year to break down and rather than taking up space, most farmers burn them which releases harmful methane and carbon dioxide into the environment, contributing to climate change.

We instead, ask these Coconut Farmers to sort the shells into size for us, where we pay them a fair price that they request for their time - we do not negotiate, as these farmers are often exploited for their coconut production due to the vast amount of coconuts available in the region.

We collect these coconuts by the tonne, and take them to our local Vietnamese workshop, where a family of talented artisans handcraft the Coconut Shells into beautiful Coconut Bowls.



The process, involves cutting the coconut shells, various levels of hand sanding and polishing - before being finished with organic coconut oil which hydrates and protects the shell, penetrating the pores to make it more durable, while bringing out it's natural beauty.

Because each Coconut Bowl is 100% natural and handcrafted, each bowl is unique, with it's own size, shape, colors, textures and imperfections. No two bowls are the same, they're one in a billion - just like you.



Now I know about your Coconut Bowls, tell me about the wooden cutlery?

Our talented artisans can make just about anything, and when our Coconut Bowls quickly gained popularity, we wanted to offer wooden cutlery to match. While coconut shells, unfortunately are not suitable to make coconut cutlery, fortunately old Coconut Palm tree wood is.

As Coconut trees grow in abundance in Ben Tre, when old trees no longer produce fruit (Coconuts) they're cut down to create room to plant new ones. This usually happens after they're 60 or more years old and are dying. 

The Coconut palm wood is most commonly upcycled and used to make furniture and flooring, due to different size requirements there is often lots of waste wood - - too small for these furniture makers to create a use from. 

We source these offcuts, often in a similar size to a brick and our artisans turn them into our Coconut spoons, forks, knives and chopsticks - the perfect partner for whatever you're eating in your Coconut Bowls.

We often source other waste wood from these furniture makers, commonly using black palm or Vietnamese ebony which never originates from deforestation, and always comes from legal plantations.

How about your Beautiful Bamboo Straws? 

Bamboo is the strongest and most sustainable plant in the world. It grows fast, and is naturally hollow - making it natures solution to our plastic straw problem. 

Our bamboo is grown in abundance a a family farm in Vietnam, growing by up to 40 inches (1 meter) per day, that's a more than 5 straws created by nature in less than 24 hours. When you consider that bamboo is in fact a grass, our bamboo fields can yield up to 300,000 straws in a single month.

Grown 100% organically with no pesticides, bamboo is cut, dried in the sun before being cleaned and sanded in the sustainable drinking straws that you love.

 

Want to learn more about Coconut Bowls and our sustainable sourcing? Shop our sustainable products here or join the conversation on social media @coconutbowls. 

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