Natural and eco-friendly: Charcoal

Posted on August 16, 2013 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

Unlike other e-tailers, I rarely promote our products on this blog, but this time, I feel the need to write a bit more about charcoal and our newly launched product, Sumi eco KuKKu shoe deodorisers made from recycled charcoal paper. This is our second eco-friendly charcoal product from Japan, after Chikuno cube, launched last year.




So why charcoal? The truth is charcoal has been used in Asia esp. Japan for thousands of years, and in recent years, it is frequently being sold and used a natural water filter, air purifier, dehumidifier and deodoriser ( some Japanese also like to place it in their beer). This is because charcoal has many tiny cavities, creating a massive surface area which can attach different substances ( like mould, moisture, odour, particulates and chemicals in the air and water) to their walls, then release them later. Studies show that one gram of charcoal has a surface area of about 250 m2. Some other scientific studies have also discovered that charcoal made from bamboo can even absorb electromagnetic waves from TV, computers and mobile phones.

What about the problem of mass deforestation? Actually many of the charcoal products are made from bamboo, the fastest growing plant on the planet. TheĀ Chikuno cube we carry is made of bamboo charcoal, and when we were showing our products at the East London design show last December, many visitors were intrigued by its appearance due to the microscopic honeycomb structure. I was even told by a visitor that she has one at home and it works wonders for her, which was encouraging to know.


chikuno cube


I came across Sumi eco KuKKu shoe deodoriser online a few months ago and thought it is a very unique product. Not only it is natural and eco-friendly ( because it is made from industrial waste and recycled pulp), it also looks fun and most importantly, it is a functional product. I was lucky to have made some important business contacts while I was at the gift fair in Tokyo earlier in the year, and thanks to the help of Susumu-san, I was able to negotiate a deal with the manufacturer, Sanyo Paper Co., Ltd., a sustainable paper manufacturer in Japan. Originally I was told that the products are only for promotional purposes and are not for sale, but luckily, Susumu-san managed to persuade them to do a trial with us.

The world's natural resource scarcity is becoming more apparent and alarming, we can no longer turn a blind eye to how we consume and live esp. in the developed world. Whether we are consumers, retailers/ e-tailers, manufacturers and designers, we all have responsibilities to protect the environment we live in. Although not all our products are eco-friendly, we always pay attention to the material used and manufacturing processes, and we will continue to support companies or designers that are trying to make a positive impact on our planet.


This post was posted in Japanese design, Business, Eco designs, Eco living & sustainability, Anything Japanese, Design and was tagged with Japanese designs, eco designs, eco living, recycling