Asia Scope

Typhoons Provide Future Ops for Social Responsibility?

Two weeks back, tropical storm Ketsana thrashed the Philippines, causing some of the worst floods there in 40 years and leaving upwards of 100 dead in its wake. In Japan last Thursday, meanwhile, more than 40 people were injured and 2 killed as Typhoon Melor raged over its mainland.

And the news seems even bleaker for Taiwan, with an AFP article (‘Global warming “to triple rain over Taiwan”’) stating that climate change ‘will cause the amount of heavy rain dumped on Taiwan to triple over the next 20 years.’

But setting these big future trends aside, one small but striking image from the Japanese coverage of the aftermath were the hundreds of damaged umbrellas littering the sidewalks and toppling out of overflowing public garbage bins in Tokyo. It seems ironic that nature will eventually be forced to suffer the environmental consequences of the extra trash resulting from the damage it wreaked.

Maybe Taiwanese consumers (and others for that matter) can at least alleviate some of this long-term impact from coming storms through the use of environmentally conscious umbrellas.

The Monsoon Vermont is an innovative brand that uses ‘non-recyclable plastic collected by scavengers from the streets, landfills and waterways of Jakarta’ to create its line of Trashion, including travel totes and umbrellas. The latter are each hand-made with a unique pattern.

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There’s also the Brelli, which is simple and Eastern-influenced in its design. It’s 100% biodegradable and will, according to the company, ‘at the end of its long and useful life…leave nothing more than an excellent memory.’