While design has always been cyclical, it’s also increasingly becoming circular. To mitigate carbon impacts, manufacturers and designers are increasingly embracing a cradle-to-cradle ethos, harnessing recycled — and recyclable — materials to foster a more renewable industry. In workplace settings? It all starts with seating: Here, we round up six chairs that maximize reclamation in exceptional style.
Inspired by the grooves that ripple across the water with the ebbing tide, the multifunctional Marée series is defined by an elegant scalloped surface that also provides exceptional structural stability. Designed by Jens Martin Skibsted for Denmark’s Montana Furniture, the seat is made with 100 per cent recycled plastic, and available in three heights (bar, counter and dining) as well as a wide range of base options.
Equally well-suited for meeting spaces and hospitality-inspired settings — as well as residential uses — the versatile chairs are offered in eight vivid colourways. While upholstery options are also available, the plastic finish has achieved the stringent EU EcoLabel standard, which recognizes full product life cycle, from raw material extraction to manufacturing and eventual recycling.
For Spain’s Actiu, Fluit is a seminal achievement. In developing its first ever 100 per cent recycled design, the sustainability-driven company — which boasts one of the world’s first Well v2 and LEED-certified industrial facilities — transformed locally sourced fruit and vegetable boxes into a subtle showpiece.
Designed by Marco Pocci and Claudio Dondoli, Fluit is made from recycled fibreglass and polypropylene plastic. The streamlined, stackable seat is especially well-suited for meeting spaces and social settings, and can even be used outdoors.
It’s a classic. Designed by the legendary Ray and Charles Eames, Herman Miller‘s Molded Plastic Chair was a mainstay of the catalogue for decades following its introduction in 1950. However, as the environmental costs of the fibreglass seat eventually became more apparent, the line was temporarily discontinued.
In 2001, the Eames Molded Plastic Chair returned with a recyclable polypropylene shell in lieu of fibreglass. And in 2022, the company took another major step forward, re-introducing the iconic chairs in 100 per cent recycled post-industrial plastic. To mark the occasion, Herman Miller has launched nine expressive new shell colours, while reviving three of the previously offered hues.
100 per cent recycled. 100 per cent recyclable. A variation on the popular Slam seating series, the Slam 100/100 collection from Spanish manufacturer Sellex combines a fully recycled painted steel tube frame with a fully recycled polypropylene shell.
Designed by Lievore Altherr Molina, the Slam 100/100 line features a range of heights and formats. A meticulously pared-down (yet comfortable) style makes any piece in the collection a timeless addition to any workplace setting.
When it comes to Keilhauer‘s landmark Swurve chair, the numbers – 80 per cent recycled steel, 60 per cent recycled nylon, 20 per cent recycled aluminum – are just the beginning of the story. A fully carbon-neutral product, Swurve was designed with a rigorous life-cycle assessment protocol: It began with sourcing from the local supply chain, and entailed manufacturing with waste diverting, energy-efficient processes.
Designed by Andrew Jones, Swurve is anchored by an aluminum base that can be continuously recycled, making for a closed-loop lifecycle where waste is eliminated. To that end, the company has also developed an end-of-life recycling plan for the chair; it has also offset the emissions from its transportation by investing in a variety of carbon emission and climate change mitigation projects.
It’s more rugged than it looks. Distinguished by its graceful, hand-knotted hemp-string webbing, Materia‘s environmentally friendly Yarn side chair also features a recycled steel frame, along with an FSC-certified birch plywood seat wrapped in one layer each of felted wool and hairlok (a mix of horsehair and natural latex). The hemp and steel combine for a durable presence, while the 11 available colourways offer a versatile – and subtly playful — office addition.
Discover more office seating — and the best in new products — in our Spec Sheets.
From focused tasks to meals and meetings, these seats bring reclaimed materials to the workplace in high style.