In case you were wondering, things have been pretty busy here at the Kyoto Threads headquarters in Montreal, Canada. We’re officially going live on Kickstarter on Thursday, October 26th and have been running around making sure we have everything in order to deliver an awesome Kickstarter experience for our backers. But that didn’t stop me from taking a trip earlier this month to where all the inspiration began - the world’s largest bamboo forest in Kyoto, Japan.
If you aren’t already familiar, here’s a little background of what we do. We’ve been selling bamboo bed sheets online for over 5 years now over at Bamboo Sheets Shop. From the moment my co-founder Allan and I discovered the luxurious silky feel and comfort bamboo can be woven into, we’ve made it our mission to provide this sleep experience with as many people as possible. In recent years, we’ve discovered ways to innovate and develop a healthier, more sustainable bamboo bed sheet. The result is an earth-friendly linen product made using bamboo as a raw material, a lyocell fiber and non-toxic, plant-based dyeing process. This revolutionary new bed sheet is being launched under our new, conveniently named brand, Kyoto Threads.
What’s the significance behind the name, you ask? Well, Kyoto is not only a city in Japan that houses the world’s largest bamboo forest, but it also shares the name of the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement passed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which commits its parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets. The protocol is a commitment to a greener earth and so using the name in our brand requires a certain level of responsibility. We proud to say that the essence of what we as a brand are trying to achieve aligns with the values of Kyoto.
But launching a brand that borrows the sacred Kyoto name without actually visiting the city and walking the infamous forest wouldn’t make much sense, now would it? I knew that I had to see the city and visit the forest myself so I packed my bags, reluctantly entrusted my partner Allan with the responsibilities of organizing our campaign and flew 20+ hours across the globe to Japan. And let me tell you - the experience couldn’t be more worth it!
The morning of October 9th I got up bright and early to head over to start my journey through the enchanting Sagano Bamboo Forest. A short 45-minute train ride later, I arrived at the edge of the forest with my guide, Reo. Normally most people go during the spring and fall for the cherry blossoms or autumn for the brilliant colors of its maple leaves. We also happened to be there during a Japanese holiday, rendering the shade-ridden paths crammed with mesmerized tourists. The towering green stalks of the famously versatile plant look down on you as they shifted back-and-forth in the wind. The forest is made entirely of bamboo with the exception of a paved path cut out for it. The path connects the Tenryuji Temple and the Nonomiya Shrine and is approximately 300m long and accessible from the main street in Arashiyama.
Despite the many upward looking, camera-in-hand tourists that lined the path, I felt a strong sense of calm and tranquility in the forest. My experience visiting this forest has allowed me to feel closer to our brand and the strong mission that it encompasses. I couldn’t be more excited to come home and launch this campaign designed to bring a healthier, more sustainable bed sheet to a market that so desperately needs this alternative right now. For more on our inspiration behind Kyoto Threads, check out this post!
Scroll down for more picture on my journey through the forest.
On behalf of everyone on the Kyoto Threads team, I want to thank you for your help and support in bringing this new product to market.