Wood furniture have always been essential in our lives regardless if it is the antique that our grandfathers use to own or the minimalist accessories that would make any wood loving person pleased and contented. We always associate wood with either furniture or for making fires, but has it occurred to you that there is much more versatility to wood that you can imagine? Project Woodworks is here to remind us to give wood and nature much more credit than it deserves.
What is Project Woodworks?
Project Woodworks was founded in September 2015 and is a brand that empowers sustainable lifestyle through exclusive wooden essentials. They design and create products based on the impact creation, and each product allows its owner to support a variety of causes such as reforestation projects, preserving endangered flora & fauna species, and empowering underprivileged communities.
The Lumberjacks of Project Woodworks
Bryan Chang was born in Sabah, one of the two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. A former student of the commerce and finance markets, Bryan strongly believes that business outputs and social responsibilities can be aligned.
Bryan co-founded TheStudentsCo in 2012, an apparel supply and services company that focus on serving the students’ market. He joined Unilever as their Finance UFLP in the year 2015 before starting Project Woodworks.
Izac Tan was born in a carpentry family and is no stranger to wood-based products. He has a dream of constructing a wooden skyscraper one day, and it drove him to pursue an architectural degree.
Izac co-founded TheStudentsCo with Bryan during their university years in UTAR, before moving on to start Andfersand, a multi-disciplinary brand that aims to redefine luxury.
Wallace Fong has always been an environmentalist and practices recycling since young to reduce waste. He eventually enrolled in Environmental Technology degree to pursue his passion and had internship experience in an international environmental consultation firm.
However, he realised that the environmental technology field is only benefiting people and not so much for Mother Earth. Knowing Bryan and Izac since young, he joined Project Woodworks with the dream of contributing evident social impact for our planet.
Getting The First Wood
Izac has a deep connection with wooden products because he came from a family that manufactures wooden antique furniture. Unfortunately, his dad’s business is forced to close down in the year 2008 because the wood price has increased dramatically due to irresponsible and non-sustainable logging practices. The idea of making products using waste wood sparked in his mind when he was researching about the concept of a wooden skyscraper for his final year architecture project.
‘Woodworks’ was born because Izac wants to revive his dad’s legacy and strongly believes that wooden products are exclusive.
Bryan has always wondered why must businesses solely focus on profits and disregard other stakeholders. His restless curiosity does not come without a base. Bryan has experienced how social responsibility and business output can be aligned with his final year project, which is a business-simulation game that revolves around establishing a socially-innovative enterprise.
‘Project’ was born because Bryan wants to challenge the status quo and build a business that is socially responsible yet profitable at the same time.
Combining their passion and dream, Bryan & Izac started Project Woodworks in the year 2015, marking their second partnership. The two lifelong friends have a dream of changing the world for the better, one product at a time.
No Two Trees Are Alike When You Look Inside
Project Woodworks focuses on implementing the wood element into our lifestyle product. Their first product collection are wooden-watches, named as Shivelight, a nature-inspired word, and they are proud to say that their products are the first brand in the market that promotes wooden-watch and making social impact.
“We are aiming to build an impact-driven lifestyle brand, where we hope to involve the end-consumer in the process of making positive impacts for the community and planet. For example, our current product collection focuses on delivering environmental impact through tree-plantation and preservation across Malaysia’s forest. There are young chaps that like the impact-driven story behind our product, some middle-aged professionals liked the classic and vintage feel of the watches, and there are even some aunties that liked our watches because they believed in feng-shui (where they are lacking the wood element)! We believe the impact-driven business model will be our best unique selling point.” Bryan shares with TallyPress.
Their motto ‘Style Sustainalby’ best fit into the USP because they believe the way you style can change the world, one product at a time. The team hopes to expand its brand internationally and make Project Woodworks a household brand like TOMS. In this way, they are able to scale their impact and help more communities in need (outskirts artisans, the Malaysian forests, etc).
Value is not about how people perceive about the things you own, the wealth you accumulate, or the fame you have. It’s about the contribution that you have made for this world, in this limited lifespan that we all have.
— Bryan, co-founder of Project Woodworks