Taiwan acacia is traditionally used as firewood, but Taiwan’s king of carton packaging, Caho Chen, and a team of innovative young people have developed methods to turn this neglected endemic hardwood into pricey bathtubs, customized guitars, and novel whiskey barrels. How did they transform this once-cheap commodity into a sought-after luxury material? By Kuo-chen Lu…

Taiwan’s rising emphasis on high-quality lifestyle has spurred a wave of new homegrown brands offering everything from premium accommodations to inventive cuisine. Taiwan ranked as Asia’s third-happiest country behind Singapore and Thailand in a report released in March by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Columbia University’s Earth Institute. Overall, Taiwan came in 35th in…