Our Story

A deep belief we have is that the current way we live is not sustainable. Born on the countryside of Canada and Taiwan, our founders have always had an interest in nature. While living in Taiwan, we became aware of how it was becoming a microcosm for the world - population density, water shortage, and waste management issues caused the government to start banning single-use plastic, a first in the world. We knew that this need would arise in other countries too - it had to. With a few product ideas in mind, a burgeoning local startup scene, and ideas from friends, we started to meet with people on the forefront of material research and sustainable design. We see a need for sustainable replacements for everyday goods, but the choices for consumers are limited - we know we can help to fix that.

When it came time for a name for what we were planning, we reached out to family. While visiting cousins on Ali Mountain in the Zhou tribe, we learned about some handicrafts they make, which naturally are sustainable. One particular item stuck out for its color - which we learned was called a palanan. It’s simply a back-mounted basket for carrying things, but we felt it had deeper symbolic meaning - that the switch to sustainability was a going to be difficult for everyone, but if we all carried the load, it would become easier over time.

That’s how we started. We’ve made many mistakes along the way, and doubted ourselves, but it feels worth it. We hope you enjoy an open place to learn about and experience new options in sustainability. 

Common Reed

Phragmites Australis, also called the common reed, is a type of perennial grass that grows in North America and Asia. The aquatic grass is robust and can grow up to 4 meters high.

Now, instead of letting this invasive species just grow anywhere, we found an interesting way to use them. Because it has such a tough, hollow culm (stem), these can be used as biodegradable drinking straws! And what’s cool is that there are even different diameter sizes in just one stem! We separate the wider diameter to make straws that are perfect for boba teas, and we also have the average-sized straw for drinks.

The best part - they’re BOTH reusable and throwaways. Without hurting the environment, of course.

Bamboo

Can you bend and not break? We don’t know about you, but bamboo definitely can!

Growing abundantly all over the world, bamboo is a durable type of grass that surpasses other plant fibers and even hardwood species.

From its smaller carbon impact, rapid growth (3 years compared to 30 years in forest trees), and higher tensile strength, bamboo is a great sustainable alternative to plastic and wood. It’s simply awesome.

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