Earth Day 2021: 7 Eco-Friendly Chairs Made With Upcycled Plastic
This story was first published on May 15, 2020, and updated on April 20, 2021.
The humble chair has never seemed more significant than ever before, particularly when we find ourselves working from home and spending more time than ever staying seated in our abodes during the Covid-19 circuit breaker period.
Whether you’re looking for new chairs for your home office space or new options for your dining room, these versatile pieces are elegant additions to your home, while providing the comfort that you need.
Crafting using recycled plastic, these eco-conscious collections also give waste material a new purpose, while being more mindful of its environmental impact. To commemorate Earth Day 2021 on April 22, we share some of our favourite designs here:
1/7 Emeco Broom by Philippe Starck
“Imagine a guy who takes a humble broom and starts to clean the workshop, and with this dust he makes new magic—that’s why we call (this chair) Broom,” says Philippe Starck, on the design inspiration behind this chair, which launched in 2012. Seventy-five per cent of this product is made from waste polypropylene and 15 per cent from reclaimed wood; the latter creates a speckled texture that gives each chair a varied look created by the wood fibres. Choose from a stackable design or bar stool versions for your kitchen island.
Available at Space Furniture
2/7 Fritz Hansen N02 Recycle by Nendo
Made with recycled plastic, this stackable seat features a sleek shell manufactured from household plastic waste that has been processed and upcycled in central Europe, and can be recycled again if necessary. The chair’s curved form takes its cues from the delicate creases in paper, and is supported by a chromed steel frame. It comes in seven shades including grey, light blue, off white, dark red and dark orange, and in versions with and without armrests as well as an office-friendly version with a swivel base.
Available at W. Atelier
3/7 Fredericia Pato by Welling/Ludvik
Scandinavian design duo Hee Welling and Gudmundur Ludvik have designed a collection of chairs with a tear-resistant soft shell made of 100 per cent upcycled polypropylene. A project three years in the making, the chairs from the Pato collection feature a subtle bevelled edge and are finished by hand. Since its successful launch in 2013, this collection now offers frames in wood, steel or painted steel, with the option of having the chair upholstered in fabric or leather. The collection features seats with a swivel base, as well as dining chairs and bar stools; it can also be disassembled for recycling purposes.
Available at Danish Design Co
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4/7 Houe Falk by Thomas Pedersen
The work of Danish designer Thomas Pedersen, this chair marries a modern design inspired by Danish classics with an eco-conscious approach. The seat features a lightweight frame produced using plastic recycled from household waste, while celebrating the minimalist aesthetic of the Nordic design tradition. The flexible back and curved form also result in a chair that is both comfortable and welcoming. Choose between either the pedestal stand or a four-legged structure in powder-coated metal or oiled oak. An optional seat pad can be included, with 98 per cent of the fabric being produced with recycled polyester.
Available at P5 Studio
(Related: 10 Minimalist Lamps From Nordic Design Brands That We Love)
5/7 Arpel Duna 02 Eco chair by Lievore Altherr Molina
The rounded form of this collection takes inspiration from the petals of flowers, creating a delicate curvature. This new version of the chair launched in 2018 features an eco-conscious shell made using post-industrial plastic waste, while its legs are crafted in either powder-coated steel or wood. This collection also received the Greenguard Gold certification, which certifies that the product meets the strict criteria for healthy indoor air quality.
Available at Arper
(Related: How Italian Brand Kartell Stays Creative With Biodegradable Plastic Furniture And Moschino Lamps)
6/7 Vitra Tip Ton RE by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby
Originally designed in 2011 by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, this new version of the Vitra Tip Ton chair is made in upcycled materials while featuring its unique design—by tilting the chair forward a few degrees to straighten your pelvis and spine, this can improve the blood circulation to your abdominal and back muscles.
This sleek chair is produced with recycled plastic derived from household waste, combined with glass fibers for optimum quality and stability. The chair is also 100 per cent recyclable and can be stacked up to four chairs high. As its grey hue is in a shade derived from the processed material, with very slight variations in colour for each piece.
Available at Vitra by W. Atelier
7/7 Magis Bell chair by Konstantin Grcic
Produced using a patented new material by Magis, this stackable chair can also be recycled 100 per cent if it is no longer needed. It’s made with polypropylene recycled from waste generated from the Italian furniture brand’s production process and the automobile industry, is available in three colours and can be used outdoors.
Available at Xtra