Every time I touch the surface of banana paper, I feel something warm on my finger. Something I don’t feel from plain, white page of my notebook. For me, this paper is much more than a normal piece of paper. I’d love to share why this is so special.
As the name indicates, this unique paper is made out of banana, or more specifically, the fiber of banana trunk. The whole process takes 4 or 5 days on average (to learn more in detail, please look at this short clip: https://www.facebook.com/kumae.cambodia/videos/1503798609719293/ ). When I saw how beautifully the staffs prepare the fiber out of banana trunk, and when I saw how carefully they put the fiber into a frame, the word “all hand-made” made much more sense to me.
You may ask a question: I understand why it’s unique, but why banana?
The story behind this product make it more special. Takuya, the founder of Kumae Inc., visited Cambodia for the first time as a volunteer when he was 18. He was shocked by the sight of the dump site and people who work there. Even though people can earn money from collecting recyclable materials, the place is full of risk to get hurt or sick. Takuya wanted to provide a job to the villagers so that they can lead a humane life. “Since the dumpsite is the graveyard or all items, I wanted to use something which can go back to the earth.” After exploring for almost two years, he finally started his business of banana paper. Now he is hiring 9 women from the village for creating banana paper.
I love its appearance and the texture.
Love how it is made.
Like how it all started.
Feel the blessing of nature, imagine the delicate work and get empowered by his passion.