How are Bamboo Toothbrushes Made?
Our bamboo toothbrush is born in the beautiful mountains of Fenghua district in Zhejiang province (southeast of China). Most of the wild bamboo grows very fast in the middle and top of the mountains, where sunshine and rain give the ideal environment to grow organically, free from chemicals and pesticides.
- In China bamboo is known as “the friend of the people”
- Important to the local economy and culture
- Technically bamboo is a grass
- Fast-growing – sometimes it grows up to 39 inches (100 cm) per day
- Surprisingly strong – 34% harder than white oak and 2,5 times stabler than commonly used wood
- Zero damage in the ecosystem – after harvesting, it grows back quickly, preventing soil erosion and retaining nutrients for the next crop
- Absorbs CO2 and release 35% more oxygen into the atmosphere than trees
- Naturally sustainable – organic growth and no need for chemicals, nor pesticides
- The wild bamboo we use (Moso) does not compromise our dearest pandas’ diet
#1 How is the bamboo for our toothbrushes harvested
Local farmers have incredible know-how on bamboo work every step of this very handcrafted process:
- Bamboo is cut with fixed length – 120 cm / 160 cm / 200 cm
- Split canes in pieces
- Smooth surface
- Carbonize bamboo at high temperatures to sterilize impurities
- Evaporate the sugar
- Bamboo becomes a little darker
#2 Shaping the bamboo brush handles
The next step is the handle facilities where our toothbrushes start getting their shape. Men and women have specific tasks, either cutting or polishing the bamboo. Usually women take care of more detailed tasks. The quality check is visually based on sampling:
- Cut in the right bamboo toothbrush length
- Put in the machine to finish the side shape first and then the front and back
- Make the holes in the handle
- Send to Yanghzou facilities
#3 Tufting and engraving the bamboo toothbrush
From the handmade production in Ningbo, our bamboo toothbrush sets out to Yanghzou (north of China) where oral expertise is located.
Here the journey of our bamboo toothbrush goes on:
- Tufting the bristles (soft or medium).
- This procedure through pressure and free of glue guarantees the sustainability of our product because it enables the subsequent separation of materials for recycling. Find out more about disposing our bamboo toothbrush here.
- Engraving our lovely Bam&Boo logo and the hashtags.
- The Bam&Boo toothbrush is born!
- Pack to ship by sea to Portugal, where our brand fulfillment center is located.
Bamboo certifications rock!
Our bamboo supplier is certified by The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which means they promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world's forests.
Rest assured that the bamboo for our toothbrushes is sourced sustainably not harming the ecosystem. Likewise, we have confirmed locally that workers enjoy social benefits and incentives to labor welfare.
Acknowledging people’s love and commitment crafting bamboo was indeed amazing. It is also our long-term ambition to contribute to the improvement of these women and men working conditions.
#4 Handling and shipping your bamboo toothbrush
At our brand fulfillment center, we prepare the orders with great care and attention.
- Checking orders
- Printing address labels
- Handwriting personal message in the envelope
- Packing toothbrush
- Storing in boxes according to order destination
- Transport (exclusive) to post office (2km)
- Transport (non-exclusive*) to each country’s post office
- Postman distribution (non-exclusive*)
- Customer’s home
*non-exclusive transport means we’re only using transports that were already planned and not specific ones. So, the real additional impact is the one brought by increased weight and volume on those transports (e.g. delivering 1 toothbrush x 12 times or 12 toothbrushes x 1 time is the same).
Facts & Figures
- 4 years is the age of the bamboo ready to be cut.
- About 200 bamboo handles produced out of a cane.
- Because we have a curved handle, we only use the bottom part of the bamboo cane. However, there is no bamboo waste since the upper part is used to produce flat handles.
- 30/45 days from harvesting to handmade production.
- 45 days is the average time for the bamboo toothbrush to travel from China to Portugal by sea to reduce the carbon footprint. We are looking into the pros and cons of train transportation.
- 8/12 days for handling and shipping.
- 5 people handwrite a personal message in each envelope.
- Our Portuguese Postal Service is a worldwide leader in sustainability using over 300 electric vehicles in their operations.
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