About Ethiq and Working with Bamboo

With increased regulations on exotic woods, Jean-Yves Alquier searched for a way to produce an eco-friendly guitar. He found his answer after walking into a shop and picking up a trinket made of bamboo. The material intrigued him.

It turns out bamboo has greater tensile strength than steel. It also surpasses concrete when it comes to compression. This explains how 40-feet bamboo, which is part of the grass family, can bend in the wind without breaking. It’s often referred to as the ‘poor man’s timber.’ Yet, bamboo is a lightweight material that’s ushering in a new era of green building material.

Alquier conducted three years of independent research to adapt bamboo to guitars. He spent thousands on material and experienced plenty of misfires. In the end, Alquier obtained convincing results in the quest for an alternative to wood. Bamboo is quite utilitarian when it comes to the different elements of a guitar.

Using his new expertise, Alquier conceived Ethiq, a line of guitars made of bamboo. He presented his research, which he had kept under wraps, at the 2015 Holy Grail Guitar Show in Berlin. He also unveiled Ethiq as proof of concept.

Bamboo produces 35% more oxygen from carbon dioxide than trees. Depending on the variety, bamboo can grow up to an inch an hour. Alquier is hoping that bamboo can make a huge impact on the guitar industry, by reducing it’s carbon footprint and limit deforestation.

After considering transport and production, Ethiq guitars are CO2 neutral.

Alquier is continuing his research, seeking alternatives to other parts of the guitar. To substitute for plastic, Alquier uses a milk-base protein.