I’ve always been of the mindset that for something to be handmade, in my book that means being able to see the tell-tale signs of the maker that makes it ‘real’ as opposed to mass produced – a wibble here, a dropped stitch there, a rogue pencil guideline still faintly visible, etc etc. Often the word handmade is too freely bandied about when what it really means is someone in a factory line somewhere stuck a diamante gem onto a corner of a picture frame after a machine turned out 50,000 identikit of them. So when I stumbled upon French brand Ekobo’s website earlier whilst out interwebbing, I must confess to being somewhat sceptical of its handmade claim after clapping eyes on its gleaming, pristine wares.
But I have to say, after watching this video on their website (go to ‘products – a form of art’), I stand very much corrected. Ekobo commission artisans in rural areas of Vietnam to create their glossy wares, using traditional production techniques finished in a wholly contemporary manner. I had literally no idea how bamboo tableware was made before seeing this – not that it’s something I’ve ever given much thought to to be honest, but if I had, I don’t think I’d have worked it out for myself anyway and if it were left to me would probably be sitting in a Vietnamese field, sobbing quietly by a mound of wooden strips, held together with PVA glue and resembling a damaged meteorite.
Eco-friendly (hello, bamboo), nice-to-the-locals (good working conditions, creating jobs in poor communities) and groovy-looking to boot, what better way to serve your organic farmer’s market salad/handmade cordial made from local roadside berries* (delete where applicable).
Stocked throughout numerous stores throughout the UK (including Selfridges) and worldwide.