Polepole (poh-leh poh-leh) means “slowly, slowly” in Swahili, which is exactly how these wooden animals are crafted. They are designed in Japan and then hand-carved, dried in an oven, and meticulously sanded in Indonesia. They then travel to Japan where they are hand-painted. Every step of the way, they are lovingly cared for by artisans who take great pride in their work. Polepole figures are lightweight and feel so smooth and soft. Since these are handmade, the finished products will vary slightly in appearance and expression. These aesthetically pleasing animals are made out of Albizia wood, which is soft, lightweight, and sustainable. T-Lab chose Albizia because it is one of the fastest growing tropical trees and is grown on their own farms in Indonesia. The “HAKOBUNE” series features animals on the world’s endangered species “RED LIST.” It is a social product that donates a part of sales to an animal protection group.
- The tortoise measures 7.5x3x5cm