If you missed our first craft post, check it out here!

The Five headquarters has tons of fabric scraps laying around.  Since we hate wasting, we save the fabric and it piles up until we have bags and bags full of scraps.  To the untrained eye the fabric doesn’t seem to be super useful but as a crafter, I knew the it could be put to good use!  Last week we had our March craft sesh and used up a bunch of scraps making potholders and other goodies.  Here’s a tutorial on how to make a simple potholder.

Supplies:

  • -Fabric scraps cut into thin, long strips
  • -Clipboard
  • -Scissors
  • -Nimble Fingers
  • An alternate technique - Mini-braids!

    STEP 1: Choose three long strands of fabric.  Ours varied in size but mine were about 1 inch wide and 4 feet long.

    STEP 2: Tie one end of your strands in a simple knot and braid them together using a clipboard to hold it in place.

    STEP 3: When you get to the end, tie on 3 more strips of around the same size and continue braiding.  You can start with 8 foot long pieces if you want but we didn’t have any that long.  It’s also way harder to braid them when they’re so long (hello tangle-town!).

    STEP 4: When you’ve braided the whole length of the fabric, tie off the end using another simple knot.

    Almost done!

    STEP 5: Use a lighter weight or thinner strand of fabric to weave the braid into a spiral. To do this, put the thinner strand through one of the loops in your braid close to an end knot and pull it through almost all the way. Bend your braid around the knot and secure this shape by running the thin fabric through a loop on the opposite side. Go back and forth looping the thin strip between your secured spiral and the loose braid until your potholder is the desired size.

    STEP 6: Tie off your thin piece of fabric and you’re done! Time to celebrate!

    -Leah

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    Pinterest has taken the internet world by storm and even Five Bamboo has jumped on board.  For personal use, it’s a great place to compile recipes, store decorating ideas and check out cute outfits but we’ve found it to be very handy from a business viewpoint as well.

    Five Bamboo has a lot of different thought streams that contribute to our values and mission. The visual nature of Pinterest is a great tool for organizeing those thoughts.  Men’s and women’s fashion, beautiful landscapes, interesting gadgets, cool designs and fun activities all inspire us.  Through Pinterest, we can share these inspirations with our customers and fans and each other all in one place. We’re also really interested in the ways that our customers style our pieces, hence our ‘Style It’ board.  Now it’s super easy to check out how handfulls of Five Bamboo fans style our clothing all at the same time, how cool is that?!

    Some of our awesome customers rockin' our gear!

    We’re excited to continue using Pinterest and find new ways to explore things that we like. Feel free to follow us and check out what we’re into!

    -Leah

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    I found this insightful ditty on my way to work this morning.  Made my day!


    Happy Thursday!

    -Leah

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    Here’s a little inspiration for you all on this beautiful Thursday morning! Enjoy!

    - Caitlin

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    I like DIY projects, especially in the winter when my usual outdoor activities are limited by the weather.  Here at the Five headquarters, we decided to have a craft session last week and made light bulb terrariums! Not only is this project super fun, but it’s also a great way to repurpose burned out light bulbs that you’d otherwise just throw away.

    Let’s start crafting!

    Supplies:

  • -Incandescent light bulb
  • -Needle-nose pliers
  • -Screwdriver
  • -Salt
  • -Funnel
  • -Hot glue gun and glue
  • -Chopstick or skewer
  • -Dirt
  • -Sand, aquarium rocks, small shells etc.
  • -Small figurine or other found object
  • -Moss
  • You’ll see that we lived dangerously and didn’t wear safety glasses while clearing out our bulbs. In hindsight, they’d be a good idea.

    STEP 1: Remove the small, thin copper circle at the metal end of the light bulb.  To do this, use your fingernail to turn up one edge of the circle then pull it off with pliers.

    STEP 2: By completing step one, the dark glass under the copper circle should have cracked. Break the rest of this black/purple glass and use a small screwdriver to pry out any loose pieces.  Pliers for pulling out the rest.

    STEP 3: Use pliers to break out the vertical glass tube in the center of the light bulb.  Next, break the inner glass area using a screwdriver being careful not to hit the outer glass.  I find it’s easiest to jab the bottom of the tube to initially break it, then gently tap away at the sides of the glass to remove the rest.  Finally, use pliers to pull out the wire with the filament and rest of the insides of the light bulb.

    STEP 4: Empty your light bulb of any debris then use a funnel to pour about 1/2 teaspoon of salt inside. Use your thumb to cover the hole then shake and swirl the light bulb.  The salt will remove the white coating on the inside of the glass.   The paint around the metal at the top can be stubborn, so don’t be afraid to (carefully) get aggressive with your shaking!

    STEP 7: Make a base for your light bulb using a hot glue gun.  I like to do this by putting three little dots of glue on the bottom of the bulb.

    STEP 8: Use a funnel to layer dirt and other goodies inside your bulb.  We used dirt, rocks, sand, broken shells and aquarium rocks.  Make sure that your top layer is dirt though, so the moss can reach it easily.

    STEP 9: Add your moss.  Do it in small pieces and use a skewer to arrange it until it’s just right.

    STEP 10: Add your figurine!  We bought these fun animals from a local toy shop but you can add any small object that you find.  As a trick to get your figurine to stay in place, you can put a pin through it before you insert the little guy into the bulb then use the skewers to stick it into the moss!  Sneaky, huh?

    These terrariums are guaranteed to brighten up your desk or windowsill!           P.S. Don’t forget to water every couple of days!

    - Leah

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    Hey Bamboo Fans,

    Are you ready for the holidays?  They kind of snuck up on me this year but don’t worry, Five Bamboo has been planning!  We’re doing a giveaway each day next week, December 5th through December 9th.  That’s FIVE days to win ultra comfy and sustainable bamboo gear! Whoop Whoop!  We’ve got some awesome plans for this year’s giveaway and we hope that you’ll have fun participating.  And hey, if you win you could enjoy the prize yourself, or you could even wrap it up and give it to someone on your list!

    Keep an eye on our Facebook Fan Page and our Twitter stream to win big.  Here are a couple of the goodies that will be up for grabs:  Fireside Cowl Neck, Bamboxers, Tees and even some gift certificates.  We’ll be running several types of activities to choose winners, including the ever popular photo caption!  Again, the dates are December 5th to December 9th so make sure you set yourself a reminder so you don’t forget to take part in all the fun!

    Good luck and happy holidays from the Five Bamboo team!!!

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    As some of you may have seen on our Facebook Fanpage, we’ve been thinking about getting a new office puppy.  Don’t worry, we still have the ever-amazing Ningo, but it was time that he got a friend to keep him company at the office.  Rohre’s been itching for a dog and knew that she wanted a medium sized female that was cuddly and full of energy.  And so the search began.  Visits were paid to animal shelters all over the state until our new pooch was found and boy oh boy do we love her.  Sure, all puppies are super adorable, but we think that Ruki is the cutest little thing ever, but I guess we are a little biased.

    Morning nap under a desk.

    Chillin' with Ningo.

    Ruki and Rohre, two peas in a pod.

    Now who’s ready to join the Ruki fan club?

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    Here I am! The newest addition to Five Bamboo!  My name is Leah and I’m super stoked to join the Five team.  I’ll be taking over customer service so if you have any product questions, sizing issues or just want to say ‘Hi’, feel free to drop me an email at info@fivebamboo.com.

    I grew up in Shelton, Washington then attended Western Washington University in Bellingham to study geology.  Learning about the earth and the environment was eyeopening. While I’ve always been ‘outdoorsy’, my time at WWU deepened my care for the environment.  I also enjoy working with people and have a lot of customer service experience.  I love being able to help and excite others about something that is important to me, all while sharing ways that we can make an impact through simple life choices.

    When I’m not at work, I’m on the trail.  I love hiking and can never get enough of jaw dropping views.  It’s not just about the view though, I love the climb too– there’s nothing like a good workout!  On rainy days, I’m always down for a good book, recipe or board game.

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    When I was growing up, my parents didn’t allow us to say “I can’t”. Instead, we had to say “I’ll try”. These days, it’s not a strict rule I hold for myself, but it has become an attitude my siblings and I have, for better or worse, applied to most aspects of our lives. When I was a junior at Dartmouth, my siblings and I had the idea to start a bamboo clothing company. We had experience in the apparel industry through our first company, Five Ultimate, and we wanted to take that experience and try to do something good for the world. A sustainable clothing company felt like a good idea to explore.

    We did some initial research, and but didn’t find much. No reliable information was out there about the environmental impacts of bamboo textiles. You could read lots about how sustainably bamboo can be grown, about the benefits of the fabric itself, but every resource we found left one crucial part of the story out: the fiber processing.
    We realized that we needed to do this research ourselves if we were going to get the real answer. So, I decided I’d try.

    While in China, I visited a yarn spinning factory, a dyeing factory and two cut and sew factories. It was exciting and fun to see each process for myself, but I remained irked about bamboo fabric as a truly sustainably produced textile. I still couldn’t get reliable information about how the bamboo stalk was turned into fiber.

    I didn’t really understand what the process was until I got back to the states, spent a lot of hours in the library, and learned that the process everyone was using to make bamboo textiles, the viscose process, really wasn’t all that environmentally friendly.

    The viscose process uses two harmful chemicals. It was disheartening—textile companies were being green-washed by fiber companies, and in turn green-washing the American public into believing that the bamboo fabric made through the viscose process was environmentally friendly.

    In my research, I learned that there was a promising alternative to the viscose process: the lyocell process. At the time, I wasn’t able to find anyone making bamboo lyocell, so that was our next challenge and a new “I’ll try” story. But I’ll have to save that one for another time.

    So far, I’ve only painted half of the picture. Many people try things and fail. My siblings and I haven’t achieved what we have simply because we’ve tried. We’ve tried hard, AND we’ve had the resources, the experience, and the skills to back up our efforts.
    I’ve found that the trying portion of this process is what motivates me though. I wake up excited about work each morning because I’m trying new things, and because that is challenging.

    An “I’ll try” attitude works for me. And hey, if you try it sometime it just might work for you.

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    Some of our products were recently featured on a few fashion blogs. We’re so lucky! Mandy, from Harper’s Happenings, paired our V Neck with shorts and wedges for a fun summer weekend outfit.

    Tania, from What Would A Nerd Wear, styled a few of our items. First, she paired our black Mini Skirt with a sweater and flats while she explored Chicago. Love the Bean!

    Here’s another cute outfit from Tania featuring our white Scoop Neck.

    Tania wore our Artemis Dress while playing a round of mini golf. Maybe we should start making bamboo fedoras?

    Kendi, from Kendi Everyday, wore our white V Neck in two outfits. In the first outfit, Kendi dressed up the V Neck with a pencil skirt and heels. Looks great, right?

    And the second outfit…

    Thanks to Mandy, Tania, and Kendi for rocking our gear! You ladies have great style!

    - Caitlin

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