Broom chair, made from waste polypropylene and reclaimed wood fiber
Published on August 8, 2013
Philippe Starck and Emeco came together to create a new chair that is reclaimed, repurposed, recyclable – and designed to last. The chair is made from 75% waste polypropylene and 15% reclaimed wood fiber that would normally be swept into the trash.
An innovative creator and an environmentally pioneering manufacturer have joined efforts to work towards zero waste. A design collaboration that both avoids and eliminates waste, the Broom chair combines intelligent materiality with beautiful form.
In the industrial age, most products live only in the present. They have no past and no future. Factories plunder raw materials from the earth to make products that soon end up on the trash heap. This process is still happening every day, all over the world. It is time to stop and think.
‘The elegance of the minimum comes from the intelligence of the nothing,’ says Philippe Starck. ‘Mies Van der Rohe said “Less is more”, but with the Broom chair we can say “less and more”. Because we choose to make less – less “style”, less “design”, less material, less energy – finally we have more.’
Broom introduces an entirely new chair material composite, combining reclaimed polypropylene and discarded wood fiber. Made from a compound of industry waste from lumber factories and industrial plastic plants, this material has a three-fold environmental impact. Less energy, less waste and less carbon. In most manufacturing there is waste. Ends and pieces of plastic and wood are discarded and thrown away. Imagine a new material that sweeps up this waste, combines it, and makes something strong and smart and beautiful. The result is the Broom chair. It has a past life as industrial waste and a future as a chair in your life.
‘Imagine,’ says Philippe Starck, ‘there is a humble guy who takes a humble broom and starts to clean the workshop and with this dust of nothing, with this he makes new magic. That’s why we call it Broom.’ ‘Philippe Starck and I have always agreed that it is not about recycling, but about restructuring production,’ says Emeco CEO Gregg Buchbinder. ‘Our aim is to prevent waste from being manufactured in the first place. Instead we use discarded materials to make things that last.’
Emeco has always been a pioneer of repurposed materials such as recycled aluminum and recycled PET. By exploiting the unique characteristics of the new wood-fiber polypropylene in the Broom chair, Emeco is experimenting with the product’s life-cycle again. Emeco has continuously led the way towards manufacturing with a conscience, delivering restrained products that have a minimal impact on the environment.
Gregg Buchbinder says, ‘Emeco has used recycled materials in all our manufacturing since the 1940s. The Broom chair is a piece of that evolution. With each challenging innovation in material reuse we inspire people everywhere to join us in our cause for zero waste.’
This Unstable World