We love seeing the growth of our past winners and want to share their sustainability journeys with you! We have been following up with our past winners by asking them a series of questions to see how their careers have developed over time.
Felix, one of the 2018 Clean50 Emerging leaders, was awarded for upcycling natural fibre resources using technology adapted from the automotive industry into value-added attractive products. For example, the stunning Clean50 Award plaques, comprised of ~400 recycled chopsticks, have been used each year since the 2018 Clean50 Summit. Felix was also awarded for leading a collaborative research project with different municipalities across Canada, FP Innovations and UBC to find solutions of adding more value to construction and demolition waste.
Q: Can you describe your current position and company?
A: I am the Founder and CEO of ChopValue — we exist to make urban harvesting and closing the loop simply the norm. By creating beautiful, high-performance home decor and furniture engineered entirely from recycled chopsticks, we’re redefining the term waste to resource.
Q: Since you were last recognized for an Emerging Leader award, how have your impacts grown?
A: Our team has worked hard to give over 37 million chopsticks a second life, expanding from 1 ChopValue Microfactory in Vancouver to locations from coast to coast in Canada, US, Singapore, and Europe.
Q: How has being recognized early on in your journey as a Clean50 emerging leader affected your journey?
A: It feels special to be recognized as a leader and it affected me positively by feeling the responsibility to lead us towards a viable circular economy with our brand even more. It has also been an honour to create the Clean50 awards for the past few years.
Q: Any upcoming exciting news that you would like to feature? What’s your next goal?
A: We are working towards an international multi-unit franchise that will bring us one step closer to creating impact on a global scale. Our goal is to create a cohesive, socio-environmental community and continue searching for entrepreneurs who are looking to own a business they can feel good about. Next goal: our 100 billion chopstick expansion plan.
Q: Do you have any advice for young adults starting their sustainability careers?
A: Always challenge and strive to do better than what’s expected as the status quo. It’s imperative that we continue innovating and pushing the boundaries to build a better tomorrow.