My first encounter with Bamboo in Anji

Anji is a small town in the Zhejiang province of China. Anji is nothing short of heaven in the real sense. Listed as the cleanest and healthiest place in the world to live in, Anji is surrounded by small hills covered with lush green tall bamboo trees. I have always read and heard that bamboo emits 30% more oxygen than a similar cluster of trees. Certainly after reaching Anji, it felt like I entered an oxygen chamber.

It was ten years back when I happened to visit Anji, which is also called the ‘Chair Capital of the World’, to buy chairs. Well I definitely forgot the chairs and fell in love with the magic of bamboo. After much scrutiny of the town, it revealed to me that bamboo was much more than just lush green tall grass. Bamboo grows as fast as 4 feet overnight and it could be converted into the soft and silky bamboo fiber. Bamboo has more tensile strength than steel. Bamboo charcoal has a long list of qualities like therapeutic qualities with its infra-red rays in improving the blood circulation, water purification and it’s usages in pharma industry.

With this never ending list of use of bamboo in improving our daily lives and the environment I went deep in discovering products made of bamboo. Bamboo products can replace several unnatural items like plastic and polyester that are a part of our daily basic needs.  The more I went into bamboo the more fascinated I was.

I was no stranger to bamboo. Having served in the north east during my army career I found bamboo in abundance. But it never attracted me. 80% of the bamboo grown in India is burnt mostly as fuel for the paper industry.

Bamboo fiber in India is extracted by mechanical means and used to make sarees. But this application is very limited to the cottage industry which has not grown over the years. Handicrafts in India made from bamboo never improved in design and quality and thus have a limited market. Some villagers used bamboo to make living dwellings but the invasion of mortar and brick technology took over the bamboo houses as they never developed in design and quality.

Bamboo farming never saw new species coming in. Only the old varieties which have been growing since ages were allowed to grow. There was a lot of research for development of new species but it never came to the stage of mass implementation.

The people of Anji well understood the power of bamboo and its various benefits. Having come across the various bamboo products made here, I slowly started introducing these products to the people of India. Never heard or seen before Bamboo fiber products like bamboo towels, bath gowns, bed-sheets, duvets & stoles are now available to the Indian market.  Bamboo Greens’s vast range of home furnishing products is certainly bringing green waves across India.

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