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Boody Wear

Boody call!

Are you still looking for the most comfortable and ecologically responsible undergarments known to man and woman? So were we, but it looks like we’ve found them: Boody Wear.

Here at Bambu Batu, we never stop striving to find the best bamboo options on the market. That’s how we’ve stayed in business for ten years now and counting. That’s also how we discovered such favorites at the deluxe bamboo towels from Daisy House and the 100% bamboo sheets from Bed Voyage.

And now we are delighted to announce a new day in the world of bamboo panties. In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that my wife discovered and purchased a pair of Boody Wear classic bikini panties at a health food store up in the Santa Cruz mountains. After having tried out a dozen different brands and styles of bamboo undies over the past decade, she was quickly convinced and these became her new favorites.

So we now carry those bikini briefs and several other styles of women’s bamboo undies from Boody Wear, as well as three different styles of leggings (another personal favorite) and a wide variety of tank tops, camisoles and undershirts. Boody also makes a couple styles of men’s bamboo underwear—both boxers and briefs—and some exceedingly comfortable and well-made bamboo socks. And like my wife, many of our customers are quickly becoming addicted to Boody’s superior softness and quality fit.

If you’re looking to enjoy the comfort of bamboo, with softness where it really counts, I invite you to come on in to Bambu Batu and peruse our undergarments. (Yes, I really said that!) But be careful, you might get hooked.

Life in the SLO Lane

Over the years, Bambu Batu has earned a pretty solid reputation for creating some of the best bamboo t-shirt designs available anywhere. So we are very proud to introduce the latest jewel in our eco-conscious crown: Life in the SLO Lane.

Anyone who’s ever worn a bamboo t-shirt can assure you that it’s about the softest, most comfortable material known to man. Not only that, but its fast growing and resilient growth habit make it one of the most sustainable resources as well.

And anyone who’s ever spent any time on California’s gorgeous Central Coast can tell you that there’s no place on earth like San Luis Obispo. Often described as the happiest city in America, SLO has a charm and a lifestyle all its own. Situated almost exactly halfway between the sprawling metropolitan areas of LA and the San Francisco Bay, and about 10 minutes from the pristine coast, the little town of 44,000 features many of the cultural opportunities and amenities of the city, without all the hassles of traffic, smog, crime and congestion. Spend a couple days here, and you’ll soon realize just what we mean by the “SLO Life”.

This original t-shirt celebrates our way of life with style and comfort. It comes in several colors—sky blue, brick red, harvest orange, pine green and mustard—and in all sizes for men and women. This unique design is printed locally in small batches, so they’re not on our website yet, but feel free place your order by phone (805-788-0806), or better yet, stop by Bambu Batu and see it for yourself.

Panda Poo Paper

Here at Bambu Batu, we are determined to build a better, more sustainable world from the bottom up. Of course, we also enjoy our fair share of wise cracks! But our Panda Poo Paper products are no joke. We looked high and low, extending our search to the ends of the earth, to source this incredible tree-free alternative to your ordinary, timber-based stationery.

Straight from the belly of the beast, these unique journals and note pads are truly fashioned from 100% Panda Bear excrement. Naturally, your gut reaction may be one of distaste. But before you turn up your nose in high-and-mighty disapprobation, let us consider the diet of the venerable Chinese mascot.

Like us, the Pandas have a great fondness for bamboo. You might even call it an obsession, for in fact, these exquisite creatures sustain themselves entirely on this hardy grass. Only extremely rarely do they consume anything else.* And what goes in, must come out, so what we’re really talking about is simply bamboo paper, processed nature’s way, by the highly specialized enzymes found only in the digestive tract of the Panda. Alimentary, my dear Watson!

That’s right, it’s more than just a political statement, it’s an environmental movement. So hurry down to Bambu Batu and get yourself a piece of the action, because it’s hardly any exaggeration to say that this shit is flying out of here!

(*NOTE: the variety of bamboo preferred by the bears is not the same variety as that used in making bamboo products like flooring, clothing, cutting boards etc., so these products pose no threat to the endangered panda’s livelihood.)

Art After Dark in SLO

This week marks the fifth anniversary of what has become something of an institution here at Bambu Batu. Art After Dark in SLO takes place on the first Friday of each month, and shopkeepers and art-lovers alike have come to look forward to this monthly opportunity for mingling and moseying around San Luis Obispo’s charming, historic downtown district.

From 6-9 pm, most participating venues will host art openings that showcase artwork ranging from local oil paintings to international textiles, and everything in between. Small but cultured, San Luis Obispo boasts a flourishing community of artists, including world-class plein air specialists, award-winning jewelers, a growing cottage industry of crafters, an active and talented cadre of painters both abstract and representational, and all manner of sculptors and ceramicists. Alongside these diverse and abundant exhibits—around thirty each month—most galleries offer something else for which our region has earned an impressive reputation, glasses of fine wine.

In our unending effort to distinguish ourselves, Bambu Batu takes a unique approach to Art After Dark in SLO. As our wall space is already well filled with lovely art, scrolls and bamboo merchandise, we generally try to focus on other forms of art. Each month we feature a different line-up of local musical artists, from gypsy jazz ensembles to ambient DJs to singer-songwriter soloists (including Anthony Roselli in the photo above). Tonight (Oct. 2, 2015), our special guests include and handful of members from SLO county’s notorious bluegrass sensation, the Mother Cornshuckers.

As a spiritually oriented shop, we also take Art After Dark as an opportunity to showcase the metaphysical arts. Harry Farmer, the impresario of astrology on the Central Coast, participates on a semi regular basis, offering his most insightful readings of your planets based on decades of study and experience. Mary-Aiñe Curtis also offers her intuitive talents on alternating months, using Angel Cards to exercise her sensitive energy reading skills.

Finally, given this region’s saturation of grapes and wineries, we opt to offer another much loved but under-represented exemplar of the fermented arts: craft beer. Typically we pour suds from either Creekside Brewing Company (brewed and based directly across the street) or Figueroa Mountain Brewing (based in Santa Ynez and brewed in nearby Arroyo Grande). Beer and wine lovers alike appear to appreciate our bold efforts to diversify the palate.

Bambu Batu is proud to be a part of Art After Dark in SLO, and whenever possible we also include arts and crafts from local artisans, to brighten up the evening’s fare and give budding artists a chance to gain some exposure and display their works. And at last we can rejoice, that Bubblegum Alley is no longer San Luis Obispo’s greatest contribution to culture!

waterwise

Yes, we got record amounts of rainfall this week, for this time year. But no, the drought is not over. Not by a long shot. We probably used more water wiping the spots off our windshields than we received in the form of rain. Estimates for most parts of SLO County indicate something between one and two thirds of an inch fell on Tuesday, so drought conditions remain as severe as ever, and so there’s no better time than now to get waterwise.

If you haven’t already started taking fewer and shorter showers, please do. If you haven’t already removed your fuzzy green lawn, or at least let it whither away by natural causes, then what are you waiting for? These are simple steps we all should’ve taken by now, minor inconveniences to our lazy lifestyles. But there’s plenty more we can do, especially if you’re not enamored with that golden brown front yard of dead sod.

Master Gardener Mary Wootten is hosting a workshop on Waterwise Gardening later this month, June 25th, at the Paso Robles demonstration garden to provide creative tips on more efficient and socially responsible gardening strategies. Topics will include drought-tolerant landscaping, grey water recycling, and drip irrigation. With her waterwise words of advice, you can enjoy a beautiful garden without taxing our diminishing water tables. Workshops are free; check out the flier for complete details.

Kale it's what's for dinner

Three and a half years later, the “Kale it’s what’s for dinner” design remains our all-time best selling t-shirt. Printed on a super soft blend of 70% bamboo and 30% organic cotton, and emblazoned with a snarky yet whimsical message that promotes good nutrition while poking fun at the artery-bursting beef council and the tooth-rotting soft drink industry, it’s something almost everyone can get into.

I still get compliments every time I wear, like today at the post office, as a matter of fact. The shirt has gotten good mileage, and never fails to earn a smile and a chuckle wherever I go. I usually don’t have time to explain the whole “kale for marriage equality” story, which is a little bit long and complicated, but when I do, everyone just loves it all the more. (Full story HERE.)

While we parodied the beef slogan and the coca-cola logo, it’s interesting to see how others have taken liberty in posting our “Kale it’s what’s for dinner” design, unattributed, on their websites and Facebook pages. But that’s OK. Like bamboo, kale is a renewable resource, and unlike some things, there’s more than enough of it to go around. So go ahead and dig in, because kale is still what’s for dinner, not to mention breakfast and lunch. And, of course, it makes a great snack!

Charley Younge

Charley Younge, a true pioneer in the field of bamboo products, passed away this week (May 17, 2015). For four decades Charley invigorated the sustainable building industry, as an enthusiastic promoter and advocate for bamboo, and a successful innovator who branded bamboo as a modern material.

Charley Younge is regarded as the pioneer of modern bamboo decorating products in Europe. As early as the 1970s, Younge was actively engaged with bamboo and earned an international reputation for his knowledge about the bamboo plant, its development and its versatility. Younge will also be remembered for founding the Dutch Bamboo Information Center (BIC), which has been largely responsible for bamboo’s widespread success in Europe.

In 1993 Younge began selling bamboo flooring in Europe under the trademark of PLYBOO® which he himself developed. Three years earlier, the first bamboo flooring in Europe had already been laid. That flooring remains to this day, and to their full satisfaction, in the home of the Younge family in Schellinkhout, Netherlands.

Charley lives on in our memory, in our hearts, and in bamboo floors, countertops and kitchenwares across Europe and around the world. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. And with all due respect, let us remember the old adage: Only the good die Younge!

(Thanks to Susanne Lucas, one of North America’s greatest bamboo advocates, for the factual details of this article.)

Eco Fashion Show 2015

It’s Memorial Day Weekend, and San Luis Obispo’s natural fiber fashionistas know what that means. The 5th annual Eco Fashion Show is just days away, taking place at the Odd Fellows Hall at 520 Dana St., on Friday May 29, at 6:30 pm. A yearly fundraiser to benefit Humankind Fair Trade, a non-profit gift shop on Monterey Street, this year’s Eco Fashion Fashion will feature several local purveyors of fine organic and re-used apparel.

Of course, no SLO Eco Fashion Show would be complete without showcasing outfits from Bambu Batu, Hemp Shak and Maule Wear, pillars of our local natural fibers community. Live Local Apparel will also be on the scene with their locally inspired and locally produced t-shirts and caps. Second hand clothiers like Curio, Ruby Rose, Threads and Castaways will also take part, touting the ecological benefits of used clothing. Re-use and reduce! A new addition this year, Eco Bambino will be representing the fashion trends for the little ones.

Good-looking models have been recruited from the community to show off five outfits from each participating business. Bambu Batu will feature a number of new styles, including our top-selling Felicity Dress, as well as other perennial favorites for men and women.

Be sure to stop by and see what else is new this season in the world in the eco fashion. Tickets are $15 in advance, or $20 at the door, and proceeds benefit Humankind Fair Trade, a non-profit shop that provides income to artisans and farmers in the developing world. Also check out the vendor fair before the show, and don’t miss the silent auction, with some exceptionally nice gifts from each of the participating businesses.

bamboo-sheets-set-butter

After many requests, we are very pleased to announce that we are now carrying bamboo sheet sets from BedVoyage in those hard-to-find specialty sizes, including Split King and Twin XL; we even carry bamboo crib sheets for pampering your precious little ones. This is all in addition to the standard bamboo sheet sets that we’ve been carrying for years—in sizes twin, full, queen, king and California king. Visit our  Bed and Bath page to view our complete selection of bamboo sheets, blanket and pillowcases.

In recent years, bamboo has become very well-known as the superior fabric for bed linens. Once you’ve slept on them, you’ll understand why. Most of our blankets and sheets sets are available in a choice of nine colors. (The crib sheets come in seven colors.)

Benefits of Bamboo Sheet Sets

Bamboo is praised as ‘the natural, green, and eco-friendly textile material of the 21st century’ because of all of its amazing qualities.

BedVoyage rayon from bamboo fibers are made using an eco-friendly ‘closed-loop’ process, and the bamboo is grown organically and the raw materials are selected from non-polluted areas in Asia. BedVoyage linens are made in China from our certified textile plant that has passed the Social Responsibility Audit, as well as been certified by many of the top retailers.

Bamboo fibers are naturally hypo-allergenic, thermal regulating, moisture wicking, odor resistant and mildew resistant. As soft as silk, yet highly breathable, bamboo fiber is three to four times more absorbent than cotton due to its unparalleled micro-structure. This allows the sleeper to stay more dry and comfortable than they would with any other natural fabric. BedVoyage bamboo linens are thermal regulating as their insulating properties keep you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

 

Central Coast Sustainability Festival

The 2015 Central Coast Sustainability Festival takes place this Saturday, May 2, at Mission Plaza in downtown San Luis Obispo. The festival, hosted by the Cal Poly Future Fuels Club, will feature bands, companies, alternative fuel and electric vehicles, and other projects all with one goal: making the world we live in more sustainable. Up to 30 businesses will be exhibiting their sustainable tech and cars, 2 bands (including San Luis Obispo’s own Louder Space, and Attic Empire), and several food vendors will be there!

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