Cocabana Bowls: A further insight:
A much needed trip away to the wonderful Bali is where this all started - but you knew that already! Amidst the holiday blues was where the hard work began.
We returned home with but an idea, a vision as to what could be. What felt like endless hours spent researching, planning, attempting to look into the future were mentally exhausting. We had a name, Cocabana, so we were able to start to get to work and create a brand. The logo was the first part of the puzzle to be designed, the website next, blog posts were written, all of the digital stuff was starting to take shape. But alas, we had no product! That meant the logo was simply a design and the website was but an empty shell! Deep diving into google to find an ethical supplier was proving to be impossible.. until one day, out of nowhere, we found one!
With Indonesia being the biggest producer of coconuts, and the Philippines a close second, finding a supplier in Vietnam wasn’t what we expected! They only produce (I say only) 1,304,000 tons of coconuts per year compared to the 18,300,000 in Indonesia! Having said that there is still a huge abundance of coconut waste there!! Coconut shells, after the meat and water have been sold by local farmers, are a bi-product of the coconut industry. They are continuously being burnt or being added to landfill.
We’re talking about billions of coconuts here.
Farmers that don’t have the means to dispose of these coconuts would usually have to pay for their disposal…. This is where we come in.
Our suppliers pay to reclaim the shells from the local family run farms, providing an income stream that would otherwise not have been there. We pride ourselves on the relationships we build with everyone that we work with, and to be able to create additional income streams for local Vietnamese people is pretty special to us. Once we’ve received the shells, our incredible artisans use their craft to bring the shells back to life and transform them into the stunning coconut bowls you see on our website today! They’re also responsible for carving the elegant wooden spoons from discarded cuts of ebony furniture and coco wood from coconut trees that no longer bear their coconuts. As for the bamboo straws, there’s an abundance of bamboo out there too… and they grow quickly!! Every straw is individually handcrafted and is completely chemical free, just like the coconuts! This may sound like stating the obvious to you, but each product is also 100% biodegradable and causes no harm to the environment at all!!
After discovering our new friends, the first process was to order some samples to check the quality and to find out as to whether we were dreaming or not! To our pleasant surprise, the samples arrived in just over a week and were absolutely beautiful! As we gazed upon the products for the first time, Cocabana felt ‘real’ for the first time too. Our vision took its first step to becoming a reality!
With every bowl being completely unique, so is the story and journey behind it. As are the journeys of each individual we hope to inspire to make a positive change in themselves and to the world around them.
I hope you enjoyed this further insight, please let us know what else you'd like to know!