If you’ve ever gotten sushi or Chinese food, you’ve gotten them. Chopsticks. Yes, the 3000+ year old rudimentary utensils that never seem to break perfectly. Some people are proficient at them, others look silly. But one thing is for sure: a lot of them get tossed out. Well next year, you’ll be able to buy them in bulk, in an interesting package. Furniture.
ChopValue has announced they are opening a new Las Vegas micro-factory come the Spring, and if you like modern furniture with a sustainable story, you’re gonna love it.
What is ChopValue?
Founded in 2016, the company began as a personal challenge for Felix Böck, the company’s founder. He had a background in wood engineering and wanted to see if there was a creative solution to wood waste. What if you could use that waste and create something out of it. He tried to rattle some cages, but no one seemed to be interested. So he took it upon himself to prove you could make something out of what is perceived to be nothing.
So he teamed up with Chinese food restaurants to create a place for all those tossed out chopsticks to go. Several million chopsticks have been kept out of landfills and put into new furniture.
How does it work?
First, ChopValue provides sustainably sourced chopsticks to restaurants. They are repurposing wood to make them, not chopping down a tree. That’s awesome. The sticks are perfectly uniform so they look really decent. Then when the chopsticks get used, they are reclaimed by ChopValue. They take those to a local microfactory.
A microfactory? Yeah. Instead of one main place where furniture is made (which means a lot of shipping to and from that location), they build locations much closer to the source of the sticks so their carbon footprint is nice and low.
They then take the used chopsticks, clean them up, smoosh them together and make brand new, fashionable products with them.