Q2 2021

APAC / Issue Q2 2021 13 , Feb21356 Healthy Sustainable Workplaces Best SustainableWorkplace Furniture Brand - Southeast Asia On amission to join the fight against the climate crisis, Ecopex Furniture has enjoyed a phenomenal start to its journey. Built on a circular economy, Ecopex produces ‘zero-waste’ and recycled office furniture for workplace solutions that are sustainable and productive. We spoke to Founder HenrikMeltesen, who shared an insight into the journey so far and his hopes for the future of Ecopex Group. As the first Circular Economy proptech business in Asia, Ecopex Furniture has successfully disrupted the corporate interior fit-out sector of the continent, taking a holistic approach to furnishing that pays respect to design, community, profitability, and the planet. As a for-profit social enterprise under RaiSE Singapore, Ecopex is playing a vital role in reducing waste, creating jobs, and supporting the local community, all while maintaining profitability. Founded by Henrik Meltesen, Ecopex is a SaaS for flexible office furniture and workplace solutions for businesses of all shapes and sizes, that was created in response to the growing problem of waste and ‘fast fashion’ in the interiors sector. Henrik’s goal is to reverse this trend, embracing instead the suppliers and products that align with the philosophy of a circular economy. Their closed-loop circular economy model brings commercial and sustainable objectives together by utilising a resource to its fullest extent, giving new life to products once they have fulfilled their purpose, and consequently reducing waste, CO2 emissions, and demand for virgin resources, while simultaneously maximising profitability. Ecopex therefore takes excess furniture from its corporate real estate clients that it can refurbish and upcycle into fashionable, ergonomically designed furniture pieces to be distributed to clients. Pieces that aren’t fit for commercial use are donated to a vast network of charities within Ecopex’s local community as part of the firm’s commitment to being a ‘zero-waste’ social enterprise that supports the community of Singapore. Driven by Idealistic, Creative, Innovative and Collaborative values, and its triple bottom line centred on the environment, social responsibility, and profitability, Ecopex sets itself apart from those brands that are guilty of greenwashing to sell their products and services. Ecopex is a purpose-built organisation that is using ‘zero- waste’ furniture to meet emerging corporate real estate trends and solve an urgent industry issue. Serving a diverse clientele of employers and employees, Ecopex offers its products either for rent or for sale. The firm’s unique FAAS & WAAS (Furniture- and Workplace-as-a- Service) model places Ecopex as a partner to its clients, rather than just a supplier, working alongside them to establish and find the best, flexible furniture solutions for their clients and their workspaces. Clients are able to rely on Ecopex to deliver high-quality furniture that is not only stylish and functional, but sustainable and ergonomic too, with lifespans that make Ecopex the more cost-efficient choice compared to the low-quality rental options that are also available on the market. Initially, Henrik built his brand by spreading the word through his industry network, attracting businesses from SMEs to giant MNCS and generating strong partnerships that have facilitated the ongoing growth of Ecopex since its inception. Although still a one-man team, Henrik is looking to expand his business, recruiting dynamic individuals with key qualities such as problem-solving skills, accountability and a passion for sustainable business to join him on his mission. With their support, Henrik will begin to focus on a more proactive B2B sales approach while maintaining Ecopex’s existing partnerships. Like many who started a new business in the midst of the pandemic and resulting lockdowns, Henrik faced a challenging debut into a market that was particularly demanding of extensive product testing and market education. However, the downsides of COVID were balanced by corporate real estate demands for more flexible workplace solutions, such as WFH and flexible workplace solutions, which in return gave him more time to refine and develop the blueprint for regional exspansion. However, by focusing its efforts on its establishment as the circular industry partner of choice in Singapore, Ecopex has been able to see successful growth closer to home, strengthening its partnerships within its local community and collaborating with industry partners to move towards its sustainability and profitability goals. Henrik would like to thank Ola Sjödin and Tor Sjödin of Soeco.se ; Steffen Max Hoeg and Jacob Hansen of HolmrisB8.com; Sandy Swee Heng of Continentz.com; and Sann Carriére of SoNow.asia for their willingness to share best practise and for the continued collaborations. To that end, Henrik has entered 2021 with plans for continued refinement and improvement of Ecopex’s services, tools and infrastructure that will accommodate some exciting projects contributing to the enhancement of the workplace optimization and circular economy of Singapore’s corporate real estate sector. With sights also set on global expansion in the months and years ahead, we can undoubtedly expect to see Ecopex making significant contributions to a brighter and greener future for us all. Contact: Henrik Meltesen Company: Ecopex Furniture Web Address: www.ecopexgroup.com