Thai expat MINKII HAU launched The Moving Factory in Hong Kong last year as a relocation company with a difference: namely, one with a strong focus on sustainability. We chat to her about the company’s environmental initiatives and plans for the future.
Tell us a bit about your team and why you started The Moving Factory.
Aside from having years of industry experience, everyone in our team has always been passionate about the environment. And when Hong Kong’s plastic waste and oversaturated landfills finally started getting media and government attention, we wanted to contribute too.
Prices for shipping increased almost ten-fold last year (a small 20-foot container that normally cost US$1,800 was suddenly US$18,000!); as a result, a lot of people started to discard non-essential items because it didn’t make sense financially to ship everything they own. That lead to a huge disposal of items, which we felt sad about as it meant more and more to the landfill.
We focus on minimising our impact on the environment with everything we do. If we can save one piece of paper, help give a furniture item a new life or repurpose one extra clothing item, that’s what drives us and makes us smile!
What kind of moves can you help with?
Our core strength is helping with international moves overseas. Europe, Australia, UK, Canada and Singapore are the lanes we focus on most; but that’s not to say we can’t assist with anything else.
What are some ways you keep your carbon footprint to a minimum?
We partner with organisations who support the circular economy – one example is Sarah Garner’s Retykle, which offers an eco-conscious way to buy quality baby, kids’ and maternity clothing. And we make it easier for clients to be a part of this as well.
We use recycled materials to produce some of the best cartons in the industry. This is more expensive, but we do it to ensure a strong, high-quality box that ultimately benefits customer and planet.
We also prefer a virtual survey, via an online call, to discuss a client’s moving needs and volumes. Some people send us 360-degree photos of their homes or recorded videos showing us the items they’re moving. This reduces the carbon impact of transportation. Clients who still prefer a face-to-face survey will of course still be entertained too.
What are the steps in the relocation process with The Moving Factory?
- Connect with us via phone, WhatsApp, email or web form.
- We’ll have an initial discussion to understand your plans and set up a survey date.
- We undertake a virtual (or physical) survey.
- You follow up with a paper-free sign-off of our online quote.
- Prepare for packing!
What’s new for the company for 2022 and beyond?
Our mission is to become Hong Kong’s first sustainable relocation company. Among our goals this year is setting the foundation for a global community of like-minded people committed to building a sustainable future for us all, together – not only when moving, but anytime, no matter where they are.
What do you like to do in HK when you’re not working?
I’m very active and athletic – outdoor bootcamps and hikes are my favourite; I’ve lost count of how many hikes I’ve organised with my fellow mommy friends.
I also love socialising. I had a lonely experience as an expat spouse in Singapore and didn’t want to go through that again. Arriving in HK, I set up a parent community called “Moms Go Wild”. It has gradually grown from 10 mothers into a lively and fun group of 100 parents from around the neighbourhood and other parts of Hong Kong.
Find out more at themovingfactoryhk.com.
This article first appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.