bambu — Fantastic B Corps

It’s funny to me that every time I typed “bambu” into this post, it switched to spell “bamboo” instantly, autocorrecting to its original definition of a woody type of grass. bambu, the B Corporation co-founded by Jeffrey Delkin and Rachel Speth, shares a lot in common with this natural plant. The company has spent 15 years creating sustainable home goods and eco-friendly dinnerware using products made from nature. These products help to reduce consumer use and reliance on plastic — and they’re also stunning to look at and reuse on a regular basis! Read on to find out more about Jeffrey and Rachel and their Portland, OR-based B Corp.

bambu_table_2What’s bambu’s mission statement?

“We reduce our use and reliance on plastic by providing people with beautiful, safe, and non-toxic products made from nature. We create sustainable goods for the home and the outdoors, made from renewable and organic materials. This was before the green movement. We wanted to prove that we could operate a profitable business and also do right. Turn people onto renewable materials by providing well-made and affordable products that do no harm, treat our stakeholders with care and respect, and give back to our communities. 15 years into it, we can say that we’ve achieved that goal and continue to work on that every day.”

We’re proud to be a B Corporation!

“There’s so much pride that comes with creating and running a B Corp. Everyone involved in our business shares in that pride. The Portland team, and our team in Shanghai. Our production partners, too. While there may be a lack of familiarity among our team and producer groups in China with B Corps, the ideas and concept of ‘business for good’ everyone understands and feels the same sense of pride as we do.”

We’re grateful for great press, but we love our little wins in business so much more.

“Over the 15 years in business we’ve had a lot of little successes and failures along the way. We continue to thrive. Sure, there have been some highlights like being recognized in Fortune Magazine for one of the Best 25 Designs of the Year, or any number of the awards we have been lucky to receive. But, it’s often the daily successes that inspire us. A great interaction with a satisfied customer, bringing on a new process, or seeing the growth of our team. The daily wins are our biggest success.

Jeff_Delkin_Rachel_Speth_bambuHow we are able to “B The Change” in simple ways.

Every decision, every interaction, every communication is done with thoughtfulness. The idea of ‘B the Change’ is incorporated into our day-to-day. We work at creating a culture of excellence, of empowerment and of transparency.”

If you want to become a B Corp…

“1) Work hard. 2) Put down your smartphone. 3) Strive for positive human interactions. You have to care about what you’re doing.  If you really do, the first three come easier.”

What do we think the future looks like for B Corporations?

“We hope that it becomes the new normal. There will be another set of standards and practices to take business up to even a higher level of goodness.”

Follow bambu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Jeffrey Delkin and Rachel Speth, Co-Founders, bambu

bambu_logoJeffrey Delkin is the Co-Founder and President of bambu. He oversees operations, sales and marketing, and international business for bambu. Delkin previously held a variety of management positions in global advertising networks and supervised brand strategy and creative development for Coco-Cola brands in Asia Pacific.

Rachel Speth is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of bambu. She supervises product development and production and leads their China-based team. Speth is well versed in multicultural business with an expertise in China. She has 12 years of experience at Nike in footwear and apparel development in the U.S. and Asia. Most recently, she served as AsiaPac Sustainability Director for Environment.