A long long time ago, Zahlen was born. Soon after, Xtehn popped out. Then Vehro, then Rohre... and finally Qxhna. We five kids were raised under a "yes we can" philosophy, and that philosophy propels us forward every day. The only thing that has changed is that we're not kids any more. We're young adults, and we're bookin' it. Five bamboo was born from a mixture of desire, motivation, and creativity.
We've always wanted to work together to build something awesome. At first, it was tree-houses and forts, then ski jumps, and now it's companies. We founded our first company in early 2006. Five Ultimate is a sports apparel manufacturer, wholesaler, and retailer based on the sport of Ultimate Frisbee. Within just 3 years, we progressed from a start-up (the three older brothers working insane hours, and living in our parents garage) to a small company (7 full time employees, a headquarters in Seattle, WA, and the most popular Ultimate brand in the world).
It wasn't long before we wanted to expand from athletic apparel to casual apparel. Knowing the serious environmental impacts of cotton, though, we were looking for an alternative fiber. In our quest for something different, we stumbled upon bamboo fabric, and our interests were piqued by the superior sustainability and performance of the material. We wanted to take a stab at challenging the status-quo in apparel. Thus, we decided to enter the greater clothing market with our sights set on becoming a major player.
We founded Five Bamboo LLC in late 2008, and prototyped our first couple products: bamboxers and bamboo t-shirts. Throughout 2008 and 2009, we substantiated the environmental essence of our company through intensive research on the various methods of harvesting and processing bamboo fibers. Rohre spent three months in China studying every step of the process and evaluating its environmental impact. Through Rohre’s research we learned about the toxin-intensive process used to create bamboo viscose, which led to our decision to eliminate viscose as a fiber choice. With more research we discovered bamboo lyocell, which is made via the lyocell process. Throughout this closed-loop process, 99% of all inputs are recycled or reused. There are no harmful chemicals used, no harmful gases released, and virtually no waste generated. We had found our fiber.
It wasn't until 2010, however, that we stepped on the gas. We hired our first full time employee, and we gathered our ideas into an actionable plan. We began to design new items, test prototypes, and hunker down to build our online store. We did soul-searching as we defined our company, wrote its mission, and faced the challenge of beginning another start-up. Today we are the second company in the United States to offer bamboo lyocell apparel. Our products are made with our own special blend of Nomo™ Clean Bamboo fiber. We offer our customers quality versatile apparel, including undergarments, t-shirts, and dresses. New products are in the works and will be hitting our store soon. We strongly believe that increasing the amount of bamboo lyocell products available on the market today will lead to a significant reduction in the apparel industry’s impact on the environment.
Things are evolving everyday. Achieving sustainability is a moving target, and a goal that constantly keeps us on our toes. Every day we work together towards a greater goal: to be better, to create something better, and to have a positive impact on the world around us.