Best of TH: Sustainable Designers, Part III


TreeHugger loves bamboo. We love the way it looks, the way it can be used for nearly anything, the way it grows and renews itself, the way it can help us all be a little more TreeHugger. So we decided to dedicate a whole chapter in the best of sustainable design to it, much as we have dedicated a part of our hearts to it over the life of TH (all together now -- awww). Bamboo is the new cotton, bamboo holds the world together, bamboo is not just for pandas anymore. The only hard part about all this is narrowing it down to just four of our absolute favorites; four that help showcase the ways that bamboo gives us more trees to hug. Bamboo makes great furniture, kitchenware, apparel and construction materials, so we decided to pick the best of those, just so there'd be a little something for everyone. The best of TH bamboo are Adapt Design, Bambu, Bamboosa and Henrybuilt.

Adapt Design makes simply stunning funiture from bamboo. Generally employing the bent-ply method means they use just a fraction of the material employed by traditionally-built wood furniture; plus, it can help add ergonomic comfort, and just plain looks good. Others think so, too: Adapt Design was a recipient of organicARCHITECT's 2004 organicAWARDS, recognizing the most exciting products introduced in the past year that promote both design innovation and environmental responsibility. Aside from their snazzy variety of chairs, tables and stools, Adapt is also happy to do custom work, with a funky DJ workstation and LP storage system to their credit. ::Adapt Design
Bambu has definitely caught our designer's eye at TH, with three mentions in the past year and five months. Their wide range of products combine a pleasing aesthetic with an everyday work ethic, and make a stylishly understated addition to any kitchen, from utensils to bowls to cutting boards. We want them all, and with just about the largest collection of bamboo products anywhere, it's going to take a while. Featured by a wide range of media, from Naked Chef Jamie Oliver's new book to Fortune's Top 25 Products of the Year, we're glad to see Bambu catching on with everyone else (just don't forget -- we saw them first!) ::Bambu
Just looking at the designs by Bamboosa, the average TreeHugger wouldn't know their sustainable secret (their apparel is stitched from bamboo thread -- shhh!). This is exactly why they made our list. By all accounts, bamboo thread is soft to the touch, feels great on the skin, and handles the same as its cotton equivalent. Bamboosa is a sweatshop-free company, and all its clothing is produced in a factory in Andrews, South Carolina. The bamboo is planted, grown and harvested on family-owned farms that have been in agricultural use for generations in China. Bamboosa also uses eco-friendly dyes and 100% recycled paper in their packaging. With products for guys, gals and babies, there's a little something for just about everybody that feels and looks so good, you shouldn't keep their bamboo secret. ::Bamboosa
When it comes to kitchen construction and design, it doesn't get much better than Henrybuilt. Using bamboo as their principle material, they custom design and build beautifully crafted, eco-minded kitchen cabinets and furniture. As important as their designs is their philosophy: that building products to last is as important as using planet-friendly materials. That doesn't mean that they skimp when it comes to eco-regulations and certifications; the bamboo cabinet systems are LEED-certified for rapid renewal, and they off-gas formaldehyde levels that are 48 times below OSHA standards and 6.5 times lower than German E-1 standards. Bamboo, built-to-last, breathing easy: it doesn't get much better than that. ::Henrybuilt