The Mekong River flows from the Tibetan plateaus down through South East Asia - through the tropical abundance of Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, before reaching Vietnam.
Along the way, magic happens as the Mekong’s soil accumulates rich, fertile nutrients and sediments. Finally, as the river opens out to sea, we reach a heavenly tropical oasis, a mystical coconut land. Here, I discovered lush and dense canopies bursting with the juiciest coconuts in the world. Coconuts with a magical oil so sweet and divine, it could even reach a cult following.
Coconut Religion is my ode to Vietnam, and every facet of the brand is highly symbolic of my experience here thus far. A mosaic of contrasts between tradition and entrepreneurship, chaos and opportunity, poverty and spirit.
For 3 months, I scoured through all the coconut oil farms, speaking with countless farmers (with Google Translate and unrelenting optimism) in hopes of finding the purest and sweetest oil.
There is an overused and tired stereotype of an elderly woman with a toothless smile and leathered skin, aged from the scorching tropical sun. This has long been the caricature of South East Asia, and what an under-representation this was. Inspired by my first hand experience living in Saigon for the last 8 months, and the addictive, youthful vitality that permeates the pulse of Saigon, I designed and created the brand with a Cuban, retro-vintage flair, a pink tropical oasis with an exuberant woman bursting out of the coconut canopies with a lust for life and a love for coconuts. Excitedly, I told my friend and talented graphics illustrator, Dot, about the concept and she brought "Mekong Mai" to life. You can see some more of her work here: http://dotthecommer.com.
It wasn't until later on, that I discovered that the Coconut Religion was actually a religion that existed in the 70s in Vietnam, in the exact jungles my coconuts are sourced. The universe works in mysterious ways and I truly believe that everything which attracts you is somehow connected. It's not pure coincidence that my passion project led me to uncovering and bringing back the Coconut Religion in Vietnam and hopefully now, with the rest of the world.
Follow my journey into the Mekong and my sinfully sweet Coconut Religion.