Georges Beunier – founder of BambooKu, an innovative, renewable ideas company harnessing the many marvelous qualities bamboo material has to offer and bringing it to you, in the form of environmentally friendly luxury linen products and charcoal.
Q1: What do you appreciate yourself in the business mainly for?
Get friend with the dragon, the oven. We really have a kind of special treat. I’ve learned many things about ovens. Last time I went to Japan, where I’d learned about producing bamboo charcoal, they asked me who is starting the fire and I told them this and this guy. “NO!”, they told me. Only women can start the fire. When women start it, it keeps going for hours and hours. So we changed that.
Q2: What is the biggest challenge for you now?
Everything is going so fast. 20 years ago people were smiling. Everything was ok. Now we have to work more, salary didn’t increase from long time, it’s a tough time. Especially for indigenous people. You can double their salaries and it’s still nothing. And things are expensive.
Q3: What advice do you have for yourself in this situation?
We need to continue to work with communities, they live in beautiful place in the mountains, no motorbike, no car, just river, nature.
Would you like to add something more?
I learned a lot about charcoal and bamboo products last years. I didn’t even realize there are local communities producing here, on Bali. When I found them, we decided to continue with bamboo charcoal which they gave up on. It’s difficult to make bamboo charcoal, we need 1.000°C to do it. You have to learn. Many times I opened the oven and there were only ashes, sometimes bamboo was not done, but slowly, slowly we got to the point. I went to Japan, contactedthe people who made this oven. They told me how to master the dragon. The oven is a dragon.
The questions were asked on our behalf by Anna and Andrea from How to (ex) change the world.