Bamboo gets a boost from new products

Bamboo is next on the list of traditional Asian ingredients to get a trendy makeover. Taketori, a company that specializes in manufacturing bamboo products, has come out with “Bamboo Salt,” that promises to be healthier than ordinary table salt.

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The bamboo is grown in an area known for high mineral content and, in what seems like a complicated process that involves packing salt inside the bamboo pipes and roasting them at a high temperature until the bamboo turns to charcoal, the resulting “Bamboo Salt” is also rich in minerals. Minerals, apparently being good for you, and a selling point in today’s health obsessed market.

Next up is the Bamboo Toothbrush (¥430), courtesy of Fine. The handle is made from synthesis of bamboo local to Shizuoka prefecture and resin while the brush, which comes in two varieties, is either made from the usual PBT plastic or natural pig’s hair.

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According to the press release, the Bamboo Toothbrush is for those who are “sensitive about what they put in their mouths.” We agree, the less chemicals the better, but pig’s hair?

And while clothing made from bamboo is hardly new, Japanese sportswear brand Godwin is re-launching a campaign for their line of shirts made from panda food.

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Finally, fashion brand Kenzo draws on the brand’s Asian heritage with its latest product, Fresh Frosty Bamboo Moisturizing Gel.

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This “stimulating” body moisturizer is made specifically from the water extracted from young bamboo shoots grown from March until May in the hilly region in China’s eastern Zhejiang province. Bamboo’s use in health and beauty treatments dates back to ancient China.

Though the Kenzo brand was originally created by Japanese fashion designer Kenzo Takada, the company is based in France and has been owned by luxury giant LVMH since 1993. We anticipate, however, that Fresh Frosty Bamboo, available throughout Japan from June 1, ¥6,825 for 200ml, will be a hit among consumers following the natural and traditional beauty trends.

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About the Author

Rebecca Milner was a contributor at ShiftEast.com, and is currently a Japan correspondent for Lonely Planet.