We are super excited to introduce the newest addition to the Provider family... KINO – Tokyo Tree Products. KINO has a warming back story and just like Provider, is an environmentally friendly and ethical brand.
Made in Tokyo, they offer three DIY kits – chopsticks, butter knife and a spoon. That's right, it's time to get crafty because now you can hand carve your own cutlery out of beautiful Japanese cedar and hinoki.
KINO started their brand because in Japan, 60% of the forests are man made in order to meet the demand for large-scale residential building materials. Natural forests were cut down and a large amount of cedar and cypress were planted. However, the demand for domestic timber has declined significantly as foreign-made materials are cheaper to obtain.
The forest and wood is now being neglected because it does not sell even if it is cut down. KINO is now using these mountain trees in Tokyo to create fun and environmentally friendly utensils.
Not only are we super chuffed to stock KINO, the story of how we found them is very coincidental but somewhat special.
As I was researching ceramic and homeware stores in Tokyo for our upcoming trip, I Google Mapped an area. I clicked "street view" to try and find a number on a building and when I zoomed in it went right up close to a store. From a blurred picture I saw a cute package on a shelf and with "KINO" on it. Intrigued, I Googled it and searched and searched until I found a Facebook page. From there a website, which lead me to an email address. I shot off an email hoping they could read English and I was lucky enough to get a response.
The lovely girl told me they couldn't ship to Australia so I informed her of my upcoming trip to Japan. We organised a meeting and three weeks later the taxi driver dropped my partner and I to the building. With a little blackboard waiting out the front of this high rise with "Tara San, level 6" on it, we hopped in the lift and were greeted by the very happy and warming face of Shoichi san.
We were lucky enough to learn about the company in person, touch and smell the wood and just be apart of such a cool little experience.
You can purchase KINO's Tree Products here