Thank you for taking a moment to learn a bit more about my company, Trinity Bamboo. My name is Tom Goodham and I am the founder and President of Trinity Bamboo. Having worked for a leader in the bamboo flooring industry since 2003, I know how to manufacture some of the finest bamboo flooring in the world.
Quality: In manufacturing bamboo flooring, everything matters: raw material preparation, adhesives, moisture balancing, quality control… the attention to every little detail. I have worked with my manufacturing partner to ensure that every ingredient and process is intentional, well thought out, and contributes to the final quality of my products. Truly, if you buy flooring from Trinity Bamboo, you will be purchasing some of the finest flooring manufactured anywhere in the world.
Integrity: I hold as a core principal that the earth and all of its inhabitants should be treated with respect. This belief carries over to how I work with and treat my vendors and you, my customer. If you choose to purchase a product from Trinity Bamboo, rest assured that you are purchasing a high quality, responsibly sourced, FloorScore® Certified and Clean Air Verified™ product. And, should you need it, you will always have my support.
Value: Most bamboo flooring sold today is manufactured by one party, imported by another, sold to a distributor, sold to a retailer, then sold to a consumer. We all understand the economics of this and I don’t begrudge anyone the right to make a living. Having said this, every distribution layer between the manufacturer and the consumer increases the costs to the consumer. My goal in starting Trinity Bamboo is to take my knowledge of how and where to manufacturer quality bamboo flooring, do it, and then sell it direct to consumers, bringing you a premium product at factory-direct pricing.
Manufacturing in China
Trinity Bamboo manufactures all of its flooring products in the People’s Republic of China. Why? This is where Moso bamboo grows and where there is the technical expertise to turn a hollow bamboo stalk (called a “culm”) into high-quality, beautiful flooring. China is an amazing country and is as full of beautiful, generous, loving people as any place I have ever visited. You can rest assured that ANY product sold by Trinity Bamboo is made by adult workers in a clean, safe, and happy environment. There is no acceptable alternative. To see pictures of some of the workers manufacturing Trinity Bamboo flooring please follow this link.
Bamboo and sustainable forestry
As far as raw materials go, Moso Bamboo is pretty-darn sustainable. The mountains around the city of Anji in the Zhejiang Province of China (where most of my bamboo comes from) are covered with a mix of confers, deciduous trees, and Moso bamboo in forests that stretch as far as the eye can see. Let me be clear, these are actively managed forests in the sense that resources such as food and building materials are continuously removed from them (have been since the dawn of humans). Other than for scattered dwellings, cell towers, ancient graves, foot paths and the occasional road, these actively managed forests look basically natural.
Unlike some folks, I do not think that sustainably harvested wood is a bad thing. At issue here is how these materials are harvested and how these industrial processes impact the land and the communities who depend upon it. Any logging operations should respect the rights of indigenous cultures and local communities, provide living wage compensation to workers, and emphasize worker safety, all while protecting the ecosystem (preserving biodiversity, minimizing erosion, and protecting ancient and/or unique stands of forest).
Why is bamboo a sustainable material?
- Bamboo is rapidly renewable. Like your lawn, the root system of a Moso Bamboo plant sends up new bamboo shoots every year. It only takes these shoots 5-6 years to develop into culms which are commercially useful due to their color consistency, strength, and density. Every year only 16-20% of the total crop is harvested leaving 80+% of the bamboo forest untouched.
- Bamboo is sustainably grown. Trinity Bamboo's Moso bamboo is grown on mountainsides in the Zhejiang Province of China. Locals describe the sea of bamboo covering the mountainsides as "plantations" but the reality doesn't fit the description. These stands of bamboo may have been planted but, in many cases, the plantings occurred hundreds of years ago. These bamboo stands have become completely naturalized and blend seamlessly with an unending variety of other plants and critters. Additionally, contrary to what some folks say, pesticides and fertilizers (other than animal manure) are rarely if ever used in these bamboo forests.
- Bamboo is sustainably harvested. Because bamboo culms are harvested and transported off the mountain by hand (no machines), the soil and ground cover is not disturbed which reduces or eliminates human caused soil erosion.
- Bamboo sequesters carbon dioxide gas. Rapidly growing plants (whether they be trees or bamboo) efficiently sequester carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas which contributes to global climate change. Because bamboo grows so rapidly before it is harvested, an acre of bamboo can effectively sequester up to 35% more carbon dioxide than an acre of trees.
- Strand Bamboo reduces the demand for tropical hardwoods. Most hardwoods (such as North American Hard Maple) have a hardness level of about 1450 on the Janka scale. Some tropical hardwoods such as Brazilian Cherry (Jatoba) have a Janka hardness level of about 2800. Harder, denser woods are less susceptible to denting and are thus highly desirable for uses such as flooring. Trinity Bamboo's Strand bamboo has an average Janka hardness level of over 3500. Because sustainable options such as Strand Bamboo exist, customers can now have an extremely dense floor without encouraging the destruction of tropical rain forests.
In summary, it is really not a question of whether or not bamboo is more sustainable than wood. Depending on the method of harvest both materials can be considered to be sustainable building materials. However, when it comes to very dense high-performance hardwoods for use as flooring, there are few options as sustainable or as durable as the Strand Bamboo from Trinity Bamboo.