The social impact of your bamboo straw

Curious where and how your bamboo straws are being made? We will take you all the way down the chain. 

Your bamboo straw is born as a bamboo stalk in a forest in the Northern Mountains of Vietnam. Most people living in this area are farmers who only have an income right after the harvesting season. These farmers have limited opportunities to access a stable job, until they were approached by a Vietnamese family-run business that had the idea to turn the bamboo that grows in their backyard into drinking straws.  

In 2017, the three co-founders of Sipster visited the family-run enterprise just outside the capitol of Vietnam, Hanoi. We were really impressed by the bamboo straws and imagined the potential ecological and social impact of a bamboo straw value chain that would connect poor farmers in Vietnam to the hospitality sector and consumers in Europe.  

Based on this vision a partnership started and in two years time, the number of people working in the bamboo straw value chain grew from 5 to 20 people, with 35% from ethnic minority groups. Outside harvesting season, the farmers climb the hills to cut and collect bamboo stalks when they have the right size. After the bamboo stalks have been cut into pieces of 20cm they travel to the workshop of the family-run enterprise just outside Hanoi.

At the workshop they are further being processed. Each bamboo straw is polished on both ends, sterilized and dried in a special machine. The Sipster bamboo straw sets are also packaged and branded by the local enterprise. By keeping all value addition activities in Vietnam, we can ensure maximum social impact in the country of origin.

For the entire production process we follow the guiding principles of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in order to create an honest and sustainable product. This for example means that no child labour is used before (in the collection phase) and in the production process of the straws, that all people employed for the production of bamboo straws are paid a fair salary and have decent working hours and that all bamboo is organically grown and no pesticides are used.

Whereas the straws create social impact in Vietnam, in Europe they create an ecological impact. Each bamboo straw can replace and therefore prevent at least 50 plastic straws from ending up in our environment. And on top of all, they let each drink both taste and look delicious!

With most of the products we use on a daily basis, we don’t have a clue where and how they are being made. We are grateful that we are in a position in which we can share the story behind your product. Every time you enjoy your drink with a sustainable bamboo straw, you can now picture where the journey of your straw started.

Looking for other ecofriendly straws? Check out Sipster's ecofriendly offerings.