Wasara, the achingly beautiful disposable tableware from Japan, is finally on its way to the US! Biodegradable, compostable, made from renewable resources and oh so lovely, Wasara has until now only been available in Asia and Europe. But Branch, an online store based in San Francisco, is about to change that.
Wasara is made from reed pulp, bamboo and bagasse (sugarcane waste which often is burned) and is completely biodegradable and compostable.
Wasara embodies the classic Japanese design aesthetic of simplicity, practicality and functionality. Like a haiku, it is as poetic as it is sparse. The square plate, for example, fits nicely in your hand, its softly undulating corner offering stability as well as elegance. The bottom is slightly rough, the top smooth and pearl-like. You can stack them neatly in a sensible tower or pile them up willy-nilly or fan them into a lovely ripple.
But how does it hold up? I was fortunate to have the chance to test a few samples. For over an hour, I refilled the lovely coffee cup (pictured above) with my morning's hot tea. The cup was both a pleasure to hold and sip from (the thin rim took a little getting used to) and it held up perfectly. I was tempted to rinse it out to use again. OK, I did rinse it out.
I left some ice cold apple juice in one of the tumblers with the same results. The plates also proved to be sturdy and well designed, their beautiful, subtle curves making it easy to balance in one hand.
Currently, there are 14 pieces in Wasara's line, each available in packs of 8 or sleeves of 50. Wasara is a premium product and its price reflects that at roughly $1-1.50 per piece.
But for a special occasion where ecology, beauty and convenience are all top priority, you'd be hard pressed to find anything more perfect than Wasara.
Paul Donald, President and founder of Branch, has confirmed that the first shipment of Wasara is on its way to his warehouse in San Francisco and should be available for sale on the Branch website in early December. Wholesale and bulk packs for large events will also be handled through Branch, the exclusive U.S. distributor.
Related: Look! Green Disposable Plates