The Singaporean who transforms millions of used chopsticks into beautiful furniture
Over the past four months, Hew has managed to increase the number of wands collected fivefold, from 100,000 pairs in September 2021 to 500,000 pairs in January 2022.
However, she sometimes found other trash in the wand recycling bins. So, after the collection, she and her team had to sift through various items such as used tissue paper.
The staff was another issue. “We don’t have a lot of carpentry factories in Singapore, so there were a lot of things we had to learn from scratch from the Vancouver team,” she said.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has impeded knowledge transfer. When she booked tickets for the Vancouver ChopValue team to visit Singapore in December last year, they were unexpectedly turned away at Vancouver International Airport. The team had to learn all aspects of the production via video calls, including how to adapt the material to Singapore’s climate and humidity.
AN URBAN HARVEST CULTURE
ChopValue Singapore currently offers five products on its website, including wall decor items, shelves, and tables.
Over the next few months, they will expand their line to 50 products, including smaller items such as cellphone and iPad stands and cheese boards. They also offer custom designs at a slightly higher price.