Before the concept of accelerated climate change entered common parlance, the art of woodworking had been performed with few changes from antiquity – with the exceptions being the obvious technological advances in machinery and synthetic polymers used for adhesives or coatings. In the two decades that followed One-Tech Sdn Bhd’s founding by husband and wife team Ridzuan Ismail and Huda Ikhwan in 1993, the company built a reputation for quality custom woodwork and interior fitout operations, serving entities in both public and corporate realms from their manufacturing facility in Ampang.
Harith Ridzuan, the founders’ eldest son, came of age during a time when climate change was starting to become a point of concern for the world at large. Like many others of his generation, Harith recognised the need for manufacturing to move away from environmentally destructive economies of scale and towards sustainable products with greater intrinsic value – a characteristic that is actively sought by discerning buyers from around the world.
After concluding his formal education, Harith took the helm of his family’s business – charting a course that would address the issues of industrial wastage and the use of unsustainable materials in woodworking. As the CEO of One Tech, Harith set an example for other manufacturers to follow by pioneering the “Harith Green Carpenter” brand (HGC; www.harithgreencarpenter.com) – the company’s first series of sustainable wood decorations and accessories made from upcycled construction and manufacturing waste.
Harith’s sustainable creations quickly became a prevalent sight in industrial-themed cafes and restaurants, with his creations often garnering significant attention both online and offline. Due to the successful debut of the HGC brand, Malaysia’s Top 10 magazine featured its creator as one of the country’s “Most Creative Young Entrepreneurs” and handed One-Tech the title of the Malaysia’s best woodcrafter, based on the results of an online poll.
Following the attention and critical acclaim earned by the HGC brand, One-Tech created the “JORD” brand (www.jordecointeriors.com) in the same year. Promoting the use of bamboo as a sustainable raw material that could potentially replace traditional Malaysian hardwoods, each item in the JORD catalogue is composed entirely from Malaysian bamboo planks, joined with non-toxic adhesives and finished in waterbased coatings.
In collaboration with world-class hotels such as Mandarin Oriental, Alila, Ruma; restaurants such as Ben’s Symphony by Chef Jo and Jibby’s as well as cafes (Mukha, Souka, PS Tokyo), One-Tech created the “Depo” brand in 2015. Dapo is Malaysia’s first brand of sustainable kitchenware using sustainable material endorsed by the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) – every item of the Dapo series: wooden chopping boards, serving trays, and other accessories, are composed entirely from locally sourced materials.
One-Tech’s efforts in creating sustainable products extends to furnishings as well – with the creation of the “Meubelism” (www.meubelism.com) and “NOKTA” (www.noktafurniture.com) brands of designer furniture in 2016 and 2017 respectively. With the collaboration of both local partners and international designers from Italy and Japan, the two furniture brands have garnered significant attention from buyers in places as far as Australia and Russia.
Looking beyond the mere supply of sustainable products, Harith looks to the future by organising a training initiative known as “Green Hammer” – a programme that aims to educate students and future industrialists in the art of sustainable living and design. In collaboration with the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB), One-Tech extends their involvement in the global development of sustainable manufacturing by participating in product development and export programmes aimed at conducting market studies across Europe and Asia Pacific.
ONE-TECH (M) SDN. BHD.
Lot P.T 12725, Jalan 16
Kampung Baru Ampang
68000 Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia
T +603 4296 2004
F +603 4296 2004
E [email protected]