Bamboo. It once conjured images of panda bears coyly nibbling on fresh stalks while lounging in the jungle. Now, this grass, and yes it’s a grass and surprisingly not wood from a tree, is everywhere. It makes up our hardwood floors, our alternative utensils, our toothbrushes, and soon will be on the lids of our reVessel Adventure Kit.

We spoke with our Co-Founder, Jessica Bell, about what triggered the design-thinking from a plastic lid to a sustainable bamboo lid.

Here's what she told us.

Tell us what you envisioned for the right lid to transport all types of meals in the reVessel Adventure Kit?

  • Jessica: From the get go, we committed to incorporating function and purpose in every element of the product. Therefore, if it didn't improve the Adventure Kit's usability significantly, the idea was tabled. This philosophy kept the product distilled down to the most important features, leaving the balance of the product’s parts serving, in most cases, three or more dynamic roles. For example, each steel container seamlessly goes from holding food in a fridge or freezer to oven or to contain food on the go either as a solo unit or as part of our lunchbox system. We are constantly striving to achieve greater versatility while needing fewer products.

What made you first think of bamboo?

  • Jessica: I first thought, how is our design going to ripple out into the world? How will each of our parts reduce, reuse, recycle? As a mindful consumer with a desire to meet my family's needs without contributing to the landfill, I had seen bamboo used in so many of the products I was sourcing. Most manufacturers place the burden on the consumer to dispose of the product they create, rather than considering the lifecycle and closing the waste loop in their production and manufacturing process. I felt the strain of that burden personally. We chose to address waste up front to ensure our customers could feel good about using the product without worry of adding to the pollution. In addition to the green footprint, we looked at bamboo’s capacity to add a new, unique and natural look while keeping food from co-mingling with plastic.

Why bamboo versus plastic?

  • Jessica: There were three drivers in the advancement - functionality, sustainability and aesthetics. Bamboo is a fast-growing grass, not wood. It is not chopped down like a tree, but harvested and able to continue growing without having to replant so it is easy to replenish, making it a renewable resource. It meets our reduced plastic goals and cuts down dependence on fossil fuels and petroleum-based chemicals. Today, less than 10% 1 of plastic actually gets recycled and ultimately it ends up in landfills and oceans. Plastics break down over time into tiny pieces from light and heat exposure and harm marine life and ocean ecosystems. Human exposure to these chemicals can be linked to cancer, infertility, diabetes, obesity and other endocrine disorders. We love bamboo because it is biodegradable, compostable and its properties are unique. Bamboo’s strength is often compared to steel, yet it is gentle on knives making it a perfect surface for cutting and serving food because it resists scarring and bacterial growth and it is easy to clean, increasing the multi-tasking this part can do. We also chose to integrate bamboo because of its natural beauty and complement to the other parts in the Adventure Kit system.
  • 1 Read more about plastic's rise in the National Geographic's article "Planet or Plastic: We made plastic. We depend on it. Now we’re drowning in it."

What properties do you love about bamboo?

  • Jessica: There are so many, I'll list them off!
    1. It's anti-bacterial and anti-fungal
    2. Sustainable and renewable
    3. Odor-resistant and easy to clean
    4. Zero-waste and reusable
    5. Design-wise, it looks amazing

By adding bamboo, does this change how the reVessel Adventure Kit functions?

  • Jessica: Actually it does, it expands its uses by adding an integrated surface for cutting and serving food. Now you can chop your fruit and veggies, slice fresh breads and cheeses, assemble your sandwich and display a gorgeous hors d'oeuvres platter without needing to dirty an extra space.

So when can I try it out?

  • Jessica: Great question. Our Adventure Kits are still in production with shipping on schedule to roll out to your doorstep this summer. We will be announcing the next window to buy in just a few weeks. Be sure to sign up to get the latest promotions, releases and news.