The idea for our products originates from a charity project, we were involved in back in 2009.
The project was called "Green Bamboo", which was created and funded by the French private NG-organization GRET. The idea of GRET is to fight against poverty and inequality in the world and to sustain a professional approach in developing innovative solutions and knowledge. GRET works with around 150 projects per year in 30 countries.
”The “Green Bamboo” project aimed to create jobs for poor farmers in Vietnam. The farmers learned the techniques to burn bamboo residues from the bamboo industry to form activated charcoal.
Zen Company aims to support GRET’s cause and further develop an international market for the activated charcoal produced by Vietnamese farmers. Moreover, 5 % of our profits are donated to improve the living conditions of poor children in Vietnam.
Read more about charity here: www.gret.org
The coal used in our products is based on residues from the bamboo industry. By using these residues, we prevent them from becoming trash and polluting the environment. The raw bamboo comes from a 72 acres bamboo forest in the middle of Vietnam, where each family has been provided a piece. The peasants can grow and harvest bamboo on their piece.
The peasants have been educated in creating activated charcoal in a sustainable way by the NGO GRET. The burning process takes 12-15 days where the Bamboo is initially burned at low temperature, steadily increased to 800-1000 °C and subsequently quickly cooled down to prevent it from becoming ashes. The process is very sustainable and even the steam from the production is reused to produce wood vinegar.
After the burning process the charcoal is sorted. The smaller the pieces of coal are, the more surface they will provide, and that way, they will be able to absorb more. We use those small pieces as the base in our products for absorption of humidity and smell. The bigger pieces are sold for other producers