Organic Spa Blog

Upcycled Chairs And Stools Made For A Life-Time

In today’s throw-away culture it’s great to find products that are built to last. It’s even better if they are made from upcycled materials as in the case of Emeco’s durable chairs and stools that combine sustainability with modern design. The company has long been collaborating with famous designers such as Philippe Starck, Andrée Putman and Frank Gehry. Its latest product introduction is the SoSo collection created by French designer Jean Nouvel. The lightweight chairs, counter stools and bar stools are made of 80% recycled aluminum reclaimed from post-industrial and post-consumer waste. They are handmade at Emeco’s factory in Pennsylvania with the same process the company has been using to make their products since the 1940s.

Back then the very first Emeco 1006 Navy Chair was built for the U.S. Navy to be used on warships. It was already made of 80% recycled aluminum, hand welded and ground to create the distinct and seamless one-piece look. The chair had an estimated life cycle of 150 years since it was so durable and is still in production today with a life-time guarantee. During a recent visit to Design Within Reach I got to “test sit” the Navy chair. To my surprise it was very comfortable. The friendly sales person pointed out some welding marks on the back of the chair that are a signature design of each individual who handcrafted it. He also pulled up some YouTube videos that demonstrated through a giant catapult test how indestructible the chairs are.

Emeco stands for the Electrical Machine and Equipment Company and was founded in 1944 in Hannover, Pennsylvania. The company has produced many upcycled stools and chairs made of recycled aluminum, post consumer rPET, and reclaimed WPP like the Broom Chair in collaboration with Philippe Starck. It’s made from 75% polypropylene and 15% reclaimed wood fiber that would normally end up in the trash. Emeco evens teamed up with big companies like Coca-Cola to produce the 111 Navy Chair made of 111 recycled PET bottles. Any ideas on what they should upcycle next?