Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Organic Lifestyle purges plastic with bamboo



Organic Lifestyle purges plastic with bamboo

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Local entrepreneur Ngeu Sovannarith is in favour of ditching plastic for bamboo when it comes to essential daily items. Custom engravings are offered for thermal bottles and mugs. Photo supplied

Organic Lifestyle purges plastic with bamboo

Using bamboo and traditional Khmer designs to create cups and utensils, local online retailer Organic Lifestyle is blending purpose and fashion to encourage consumers to quit single-use plastics.

Founded by Ngeu Sovannarith in October last year, the online shop sells bamboo alternatives to daily use items typically made from plastic, such as straws, mugs, chopsticks and toothbrushes.

The shop’s first item was an eco-friendly straw made from grass.

“After our launch, our team worked hard to produce other daily use items which are harmless to the atmosphere and environment,” Sovannarith says.

We sell natural products that provide alternatives to plastics. They are sustainably sourced and we aim to offer affordable prices so everyone can take part in reducing plastics.”

The entrepreneur says his aim is to promote cultural heritage and raise environmental awareness through his eco-friendly products.

Some of his most popular products are bamboo mugs and bottles engraved with traditional symbols by a team of professional artists.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Sovannarith says he chose traditional Khmer designs to highlight Cambodia’s rich cultural history. Photo supplied

One of the best-selling designs is of characters from Lakhon Khol, or traditional Khmer masked theatre.

The art form was inscribed on the UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in 2018.

“We have created an artistic design that is quite appealing among our customers, especially young people,” Sovannarith says.

We engraved the characters from Lakhon Khol masked dance, such as Hanuman, on the bamboo water bottle and mugs to preserve our traditions and protect the environment. The purpose of doing that is to encourage users to be alerted to and be grateful for our amazing culture.”

The mugs and bottles also feature designs from Lakhon Bassac folk theatre, a traditional art form with very few remaining performers.

Yantra designs with geometric rows of ancient Khmer text believed to bestow protective powers are also available.

In addition to the traditional designs, customers can also order mugs or bottles customised with their names, pictures and any short text they want.

The mugs range from $13 to $19, while the Lakhon Khol mug sells for $4.90 and includes a straw.

The bamboo bottles can allegedly maintain the temperature of drinks for 24 hours.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Sovannarith’s mugs and bottles range in price from $4.90 to $19. Photo supplied

“It takes us two weeks from selecting the Lakhon Khol face mask design to producing the final bottle. Once we have chosen the character, we need to study its details and characteristics. We will then imitate the design on a computer to get the right aspect ratio. Then, we sketch the face mask on the bottle before carving it carefully to make it smooth and beautiful,” says the owner.

Sovannarith says Lakhon Khol is a cultural heritage that Cambodians have to preserve and that is why he engraves the masked characters on his mugs.

The owner takes $0.50 from each Lakhon Khol mug and donates it to local art associations and Lakhon Khol artists who are working to safeguard this endangered art form.

“I want to remind myself and others to care for our legacy. That is why I use the traditional and cultural symbol on our daily use. We are so lucky to have a beautiful culture and art. We together should be proud of what we have before it is gone,” says Sovannarith.

Organic Lifestyle has done well since it opened, and Sovannarith noticed many youths placing orders.

“I am glad to see more youths order these bamboo designs with Khmer art, it means a lot to me. I feel like people love this creative idea beyond more than I ever thought,” he says.

Sovannarith says he wants the country to remove some of its plastic and start utilising environmentally friendly products.

“I will produce more recyclable and reusable products to give clients more options to live a healthier lifestyle,” he says.

For more information, visit Organic Lifestyle on Facebook, email [email protected] or call 015 253 253.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Angkor Beer, 30 Years of Prestige and Still Counting

    Let’s celebrate 30 years of prestige with Angkor Beer. In this 2022, Angkor Beer is 30 years old and has been staying with Cambodian hearts in all circumstances. Head of core beer portfolio, EmYuthousaid, “We have been with Cambodians for three decades now. We, ANGKOR Beer, pride

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,