Dragonfly Bamboo, which is located in The Philippines, Vietnam, and New York, aims to deliver the most sustainable and modern products manufactured from natural bamboo while filling the gap between the traditional products and the developing market.
Western Sydney University
Dragonfly Bamboo is an e-commerce website selling high quality bamboo products with modern design. The products are also highly sustainable since they are minimally refined and manufactured. Dragonfly Bamboo uses simple tools, lots of handwork, and natural sealers (such as linseed oil, tung oil, and foreverwood). The business rejects using harmful chemicals while making products. With this kind of production, the business is able to “have the least amount of impact on the environment” and protect consumers’ health.
Dragonfly Bamboo provides variety of products which are made by 46 companies in 18 countries. Their products range from straw, accessories, furniture to even innovative products like watches, bicycles, and sulkies. These are high quality, yet sold at reasonable prices. Moreover, all furniture are offered with a 15 year warranty.
Christopher has been obsessed with the beautiful image of bamboo forests appeared along his childhood. When grew up, Christopher traveled to Philippines and was amazed to see bamboo everywhere. He later decided to run a business that makes sustainable bamboo products and promotes the benefits of this plant. The business was founded in 2012 in Philippines under the name Mabuhay Designs. In 2015, the company name was changed to Dragonfly Bamboo when Christopher came up with the idea of helping people making and selling bamboo products. The name is a combination of two things that Christopher has loved in his life: bamboo and dragonfly.
Dragonfly Bamboo is different from many other bamboo manufacturers as they manually make organic bamboo products with modern look and at reasonable prices. This helps the business fill in the gap between traditional and modern markets. Dragonfly Bamboo also has a very detailed plan to cultivate and harvest bamboo plantation in their mission to preserve the nature.
Dragonfly Bamboo meets three global goals for sustainable development, including:
· Climate action (goal #13)
Natural bamboo is the eco-friendly material used for every products sold on Dragonfly Bamboo website. According to Christopher Vetrano, founder of the business, bamboo helps “clean the air.” The plant produces 35% more oxygen than many other plants. It can eliminate up to 12 tons of carbon dioxide in the air per hectare.
In addition, bamboo helps save rain forests and reduce deforestation. The plant grows relatively fast. It takes only about five years to grow a bamboo plantation.
Nonetheless, bamboo produces very little waste to the environment. All parts of bamboo can be used. Bamboo leaves and bamboo charcoal can be used for medicinal purposes. The charcoal can also be used to make towels. As regards bamboo stalks, they have many uses, such as building bridges, making furniture, creating bicycles, and so on. In fact, bamboo is one of the strongest materials, and so bamboo products are very durable.
Along with using natural bamboo in production, Dragonfly Bamboo also prefers making handmade products rather than using machines. They usually use simple tools and much handwork. This helps create little impact on the environment.
· Quality education (goal #4)
The business opens school in Philippines to educate local people about the benefits of bamboo, how to reserve bamboo in natural ways and how to make bamboo products. This gains awareness of sustainable production and helps people learn a job.
· Responsible consumption and production (goal #12)
Dragonfly Bamboo makes and sells sustainable products that protect the environment, and so consumers who buy and use the products contributes to responsible consumption. The responsible production also reflects when 10% of the business’s profit is donated to World Bamboo Organization. The World Bamboo Organization is a group of people, businesses, and NGOs organizations that share a common interest Bamboo. They work together to promote the use of bamboo and its impact on environment and economy.
Dragonfly Bamboo has low cost production since it has factories in Vietnam and Philippines where there is plenty of bamboo trees. Moreover, bamboo is easy to plant. It can grow in diverse conditions, from mountains to tropical regions. This results in the ease of acquiring materials.
In addition, as a company which practices corporate social responsibility (“CSR”), Dragonfly Bamboo has been be able to partner with big organizations that share a same interest in bamboo. These include World Bamboo Organization, South Asia Bamboo Foundation, Department of Trade & Industry Philippines, and Green Business Network at Green America. The partnerships have helped Dragonfly Bamboo gain its brand awareness, develop brand trust, and receive funding to expand the business.
46 companies from 18 countries across the world have agreed to their products on Dragonfly Bamboo website. In fact, this site is a place for all people who love bamboo can exchange, learn and share their experiences in manufacturing bamboo products. This helps improve the product quality and spread the words about bamboo products further.
Dragonfly Bamboo works differently than businesses where profits and the interests of the shareholders are top priorities. The goal of the Dragonfly Bamboo is to make products that are good for the environment and to run the business that is good for the society.
As we have known, natural resources have been exploited thoroughly, and the Earth is facing the risk of resource depletion. Replacing slow-growing trees by bamboo will help preserving the nature. Bamboo has been put to serve the society from food to building houses, bridges. However, with the serious climate change today, experts have researched more about bamboo and found the following benefits that the plant can bring to environment and the society.
· First, bamboo is a renewable resource. Depending on species, bamboo can be harvested from 1 to 5 years. This growth rate is much shorter than many other trees, such as oak. It takes at least forty years for an oak tree to mature before it can be harvested. While deforestation and illegal timber harvesting are growing, bamboo is such a great alternative to wood since it grows fast and helps save the rain forests.
· Second, bamboo has the ability to absorb the amount of carbon dioxide more than 5 times as well as providing 35% more oxygen than other trees. Therefore, planting more bamboo will help to absorb greenhouse gases. More importantly, the products made from bamboo will not harm the environment as well as consumers because bamboo is not like other industrial plants, bamboo can grow without the use of fertilizers and pesticides or herbicides. Bamboo can also grow in a variety of conditions, in the arid areas due to drought caused to the wetland or land in the highlands. There are also many other benefits from bamboo.
Moreover, Dragonfly Bamboo has designed a number of sustainable projects that help people understand the benefits of bamboo, know how to grow bamboo, and learn how to make products from bamboo. The projects also provide a place for people to get together, create things together, build their relationships, and share their ideas and techniques to improve product quality. In sum, the projects contribute to developing the community living standards.
The latest project Dragonfly Bamboo has done is with Dagsa Tribe, which is located in Bayawan City, Negros Island, Philippines. They designed Artists Sanctuary, a place for artists to work together to create artistic products which are made from bamboo and marketable.
Christopher Vetrano, Founder
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Business Website: https://www.dragonflybamboo.com
Year Founded: 2012
Number of Employees: 2-10