Photo source: Flickr by BNZ
American Bamboo Society (ABS)
ABS was formed in 1979 and currently has over 1,400 members throughout the U.S. and in 37 other countries. ABS issues a bimonthly Magazine and Journal to disseminate information on the use, care, propagation and ‘beauty’ of bamboo.
There are a number of resources on this site, including an exhaustive list of potential uses for bamboo as a raw material. Interestingly, I did not see clothing on there! Perhaps the ABS would consider revising that aspect of the site with the growing innovations in the area of bamboo apparel.
Another great resource on the site is on ‘growing bamboo’ planting and care to different climate & growing conditions, key issues and challenges, and helpful tips to horticulturists. In addition, there is a listing of bamboo companies in China (historically one of the major world producers of bamboo in the world, with several species indigenous to the country).
If you think ABS is a one of a kind operation, you will be happy to learn that this is not the case: there are a plethora of bamboo societies all over the world. In fact, ABS is just one of many longstanding international organizations that gather, disseminate and discuss information on bamboo as well as foster bamboo communities.
As evidenced in part by the long history of these societies it is clear that bamboo has held a certain prestige and value as a plant for centuries in many societies across the globe. What is new is the use of bamboo for apparel.
Bamboo societies are in Africa, Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Guatemala, India, Japan, Indonesia, Italy, and elsewhere.
• The international Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) created by the International Development Research Centre of Canada
• International Bamboo Foundation
This foundation is awesome! This 501(c)3 and the Environmental Bamboo Foundation (EBF) of Indonesia were both founded by Linda Garland, an international designer and environmentalist who has lived in Indonesia for over 20 years. With base operations on Maui, Hawaii, EBF built the first five all bamboo buildings in the US. The next eight buildings were recently approved for construction but the difficulty in gaining approval without accepted building code standards remains challenging.
• Environmental Bamboo Foundation (Indonesia) EBF is an Indonesian non-profit organization with the goal to protect tropical forests by promoting and demonstrating the many conservation and development opportunities that bamboo offers. In less than three years, EBF has put bamboo on the conservation-development agenda while generating increased international interest in bamboo. Based in Bali, EBF Indonesia has affiliate non-profit organizations in America (IBF) and Holland.
• World Bamboo Organization
Mission: to promote and support the use of bamboo as a sustainable, alternative natural resource through the development of partnerships and global communication, information exchange, and technology transfer.
Originally founded as the International Bamboo Association (IBA), the idea for an international coordinating body for bamboo practitioners came from the 1991 International Bamboo Workshop in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The IBA was officially established at the 1992 International Bamboo Congress in Japan.