Our beginnings Bamboo Straw Girl is a homegrown Singapore social enterprise that aims to start eco conversations through the simple bamboo straw — nature’s solution to nasty plastic!
Our motto: Refuse Reduce Rethink
Our founder, Melissa Lam (a.k.a. Bamboo Straw Girl), is a strong green advocate and has engaged schools, organisations and community groups in the movement against single-use plastics. She was inspired to take individual action in the fight against wasteful consumption after spending time hiking and camping in her late teens.
Since our incorporation, our company has provided employment opportunities or supplementary streams of income for at least half a dozen South East Asian artisans.
We were the very first “zero-waste lifestyle" store in Singapore even before “zero-waste” became a buzzword! We aim to be as plastic-free and low-impact as we can, from production to point of sale.
We hope to inspire people to consider their connection to and responsibility for our land through thoughtfully crafted practical handmade products.
We started with just one product — the bamboo straw — and now have a full range of lifestyle products to help you on your personal eco journey. It starts small!
We work directly with makers to create our products. There is a focus on waste-reduction — our products are all low-impact, with little to no by-products or discarded materials in the production process. We also repurpose materials where we can. Our popular batik strawkeepers and batik bulk bags, for example, are hand-stitched from fabric scraps that would otherwise be sent to the landfill or incinerator.
We believe that using all-natural products is a meditation on our connection to our land, and we hope to share this consciousness with all our customers and clients.
Who is Bamboo Straw Girl?
Bamboo Straw Girl founder Melissa Lam is an English Language teacher as well as an environmentalist and sustainability advocate in Singapore.
Back in 2013, she was at the tail-end of a few years of on-and-off backpacking when one of her friends took a picture of their group around a campfire next to a river. The picture of the group of friends in the blue evening light, with the warm glow of the campfire on their faces – was at first romantic.
On closer inspection, Mel saw that they were surrounded by plastic bag upon plastic bag of “rations" from the convenience store close to their hostel. The picture became a poignant reminder of their over-reliance on single-use plastic. As they packed up after the campfire that chilly night, shining torchlights to make sure they left no trace, Mel was struck by the irony of it all – why had they brought these little single-use plastic items into nature, and what would the consequences be if they left even a tiny bit behind? After making small changes to her personal lifestyle habits, and stumbling upon the Zero Waste movement, she felt compelled to spread the message of mindful consumption through a lighthearted conversation starter – the bamboo straw. What started out as a personal project has now impacted thousands of people and dozens of schools and organisations. This work has empowered partner artisans, a majority of whom are women, with a second stream of income or full time wage, and allowed us the privilege of contributing meaningfully back to society. We are all forever grateful.
When you shop with us, your purchase supports multiple streams of environmental and sustainability action.
Firstly, by choosing a reusable or low-impact product, you are making a difference to our Earth. Many people making conscious choices will add up to a better world for everyone.
Secondly, you support our maker-friends with a second stream of income and financial independence.
Thirdly, you enable Mel to run outreach programmes such as free school assembly talks.
Suggested To Us By
Rich Y. from Honeycombers (https://thehoneycombers.com/singapore/zero-waste-groceries-bulk-stores-singapore/)