Sitting on sustainable seats

Whether it is in the office, in a car or binge-watching your favourite show, sitting is a large part of our life. While sitting all the time is not healthy, at least you can sit with a clear conscience on these sustainable seats!

Bioplastic is plastic made from renewable resources, such as corn starch or sugars. Kuskoa Bi, designed by Alki, is the first chair on the made from bioplastic. The chair is made from bioplastic based on PLA, a biopolymer obtained from transforming starch. The seat has an enveloping shell, cut in such a way that it optimises back and arm support. The trestle is made from wood.

Flax fibres are very strong, 2 to 3 times stronger than cotton fibres. Design #1 by Revology is the first composite bistro chair. The chair, which will be launched in 2018, is made if 100 per cent recyclable composite linen fibres, biobased resins and recycled brass. The chair is claimed to be 5 times stronger than wood. Weighing less than 3 kilograms, it can withstand over 200 kilograms.

The Flax Chair by designer Christien Meindertsma and natural fibre expert Enkev also uses flax, combining it with wool and bioplastic fibres to create a composite material. The material is composed of four layers of woven flax and five layers of dry-needled felted flax, both containing PLA fibre. The chair can be made out of a sheet measuring 60 x 90 cm, with almost no waste. The chair is heat-pressed into shape, melting the PLA to make the composite hard and strong.

Mycelium, the spore system of mushrooms, is a sustainable material used to make anything from packaging material to building constructions, including seats. The Pare Chair by Glenn Catchpole is a zero waste chair made from timber veneer and mycelium composite. Mycelium binds together waste sawdust and wood chips, growing in 3D shapes.

Studio Klarenbeek & Dros combined the mushroom material with 3D printing to make a chair, a technology they have been developing since 2011, and is now a startup KROWN. Combining the mycelium with bioplastic, the structure is not finished when it leaves the printer, but continues to grow.

Cork is a sustainable, biodegradable material, which is also very comfortable to sit on. The Vertebral Chair is a flat pack chair made from TriFold, a self-supporting cork composite developed by Erika Cross. The chair emphasises the strength of the material. The trestle is minimalistic, consisting of one tube that runs through the middle of the seat and the back.

Bar{k} by BKDesigns is a comfortable bar stool made from solid, high-density cork, supplied by cork company The Amorim Group.

Bamboo is one of the most versatile and sustainable materials in the world and thus an excellent material to make furniture. The Bamboo Chair by Dutch designers Tejo Remy and René Veenhuizen uses plaited laminated bamboo slabs and resembles a tub chair.

The Rising Chair by Robert van Embricqs is made from bamboo slats and can be folded in to be a flat surface.

The design of the Meditation Seat by Gao Fenglin for Nanoin Design is inspired by the traditional Chinese way of sitting, often used to meditate. The chair is made from many tiny slivers of bamboo that are woven.

Organic waste material
Organic waste materials are usually left to rot, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them for anything else. Beleaf by Slovakian designer Šimon Kern uses fallen leaves and bioresin to make a chair, while Korean designer Oh Geon created a blocky chair made from waste sawdust and translucent resin.

Recycled materials
Plastic waste is a major problem, and turning it into furniture is a great way to deal with it. Design studio The New Raw recycles plastic waste, turning it into public furniture using 3D printing.

Plastic Whale, the world’s first professional plastic fishing company, created an office furniture line made from plastic fished from the Amsterdam canals, including a chair with felt made from recycled PET bottles.

If everything else fails, just grow your chair! The company Full Grown does just that, growing trees into the shape of chairs, which can be harvested in one piece.

For more chairs at Materia, click here.

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