It used recycled materials as a chair for 75 years, appearing in countless movies

- Feb 08, 2018 -

Products just it the use of recycled materials in the chair in 75, appeared in numerous films, has also been ikea "reference" - SHARES share to use WeChat WeChat sweep yards will share to web WeChat recycled materials industrial design product design chair - environmental protection design

When we talk about the use of recycled materials to produce our products, first of all, it may be that big companies are trying to do a non-core business for corporate image and social responsibility.


But today, the company that loves to introduce, but special recycling material to make products.

Emeco brand founded in 1944, the United States, for the sake of cost at the beginning, using recycled aluminum as raw materials, not only to create a new worth living the sturdy chair of world war ii, and from now on to become a "special recycled material manufacturing, usable lifetime of chair" brand of legend.


Navy Chair -- Navy Chair

In 1944, founder Wilton c. Dinges founded Emeco with $300 and a second-hand lathe.

Soon after, Dinges won a big bill from the U.S. government to create a special chair for the U.S. navy.

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Because it is take the warships and submarines, the U.S. government to Emeco put forward special requirements on the quality of the chairs: light, fire prevention, is worth living salty air, in the end, still have to withstand rough sailors.

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In and cooperate with Alcoa, Emeco built a looks like a integrated a mellifluous, but it was the 12 parts, after 77, more than 50 people to participate in the adjustment made chair Emeco 1006.

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Although 80% of the material in the chair comes from discarded aluminum, the chair is three times stronger than steel.

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In order to adapt to "life at sea", Emeco put bolts on the foot of the chair to fix it on the deck.

After the war, many of the ships were abandoned, but the chairs were left for use in prisons, hospitals and other U.S. government offices, many of which are still in use today.

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(Navy Chair in "me, robot" from Film&Furniture)


If you can pay attention to see, "batman: the dark knight", "the matrix", "I, robot", "ace agent 2: golden circle" and so on in the movie to find this chair, because it has become one of the marks in American culture.


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(from batman: the dark knight, the bolt that was originally used to anchor the ship has become a practical design to avoid "copying the chair", as shown in the IMDb)


Until now, Emeco has continued to produce and sell Navy chairs, each priced at about $445.

It is a favorite choice for many interior designers, mostly in high-end restaurants and hotels.

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Emeco provides a lifetime warranty for the chair, and sometimes CEO Gregg also jokes that "every time you sell a chair, you lose a customer," because the chair doesn't go bad and doesn't buy back the customer.


Goodbye American official order, hello designer world.

After world war ii, although the U.S. government would buy Navy Chair, but fewer orders, Emeco was on the verge of bankruptcy.

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In 1979, the founder sold Emeco to Jay Buchbinder, who tried to increase his official order but failed.


In 1998, Jay Buchbinder's son Gregg Buchbinder found that designers like Giorgio Armani wanted to buy their Navy Chair, but the older generation didn't know how to work with them.

So he bought Emeco from his father and went to New York to promote Emeco's chair.

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Since then, not only has Emeco's Navy Chair moved into more business scenarios, but Gregg has also started working with famous designers, architects and companies to launch new products.


Coca-Cola cooperation - 111 Navy Chair.

In 2006, Coca-Cola, which consumes hundreds of billions of disposable plastic bottles, found Emeco.

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Emeco released the 111 Navy Chair in 2010, with the same overall design as Navy Chair, but Emeco replaced the original aluminum with plastic made from Coca-Cola plastic bottles.

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As the name suggests, 111 Navy chairs will use 111 bottles of coke.

Emeco smashed, colored and moulded the PET plastic coke bottles, combined with 35 percent fiberglass to create a sturdy plastic chair.

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Each year, Emeco USES 10 million Coca-Cola plastic bottles to make chairs and reduce landfills.


Now, the chair has been extended to a full range of products, not only from the original "Coca-Cola red" to seven colors, but also with different height options.

After many experiments, though plastic, these colors will not fade in the outdoors or in ice.

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But the 111 Navy Chair may not be as strong as the Emeco 1006 made of aluminum, since Emeco offers only a five-year warranty.


"Sweep the chair", a chair that "sweeps" out of factory waste.

In 2012, Emeco teamed up with the famous French designer Philippe Starck (yes, the designer who designed the mi MIX) and launched a chair called Broom.

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Him all will be the chair called the "broom", because it is made from recycled plastic and wood, as if is like "to sweep a heap of rubbish in the factory, and then have the ingredients for this chair".

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Broom is made from 90 per cent of industrial waste (75 per cent recycled polypropylene and 15 per cent recycled wood) and the remaining 10 per cent comes from recycled materials.

Since it doesn't use any non-recyclable materials, Starck sometimes calls it "a chair made out of nothing".

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This series of chairs also has three height, 6 colors to choose, and the warranty period is 5 years.


Using all kinds of materials, Japanese ghost design team Nendo.

When sato, the designer of Japan's Nendo, went to the Emeco studio, Emeco put together all the materials they had been experimenting with to get sato's election, but the latter said, "why not use it all together?"

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In 2014, Emeco launched the Su series designed with Nendo.

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Sato wants to make a simpler product.

Therefore, they took the classic Emeco 1006 base, removed the original seat back, and designed a series of chairs with different recycling materials.

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Although the seat design is the same as Navy Chair, sato offers consumers four choices: green concrete, bark, recycled plastic and recycled wood.


We brought with sato, not just a stool, but a platform to experiment with different materials.


"Said Gregg Buchbinder, CEO of Emeco.


A 1 Inch Chair designed for 75 years.

In 2017, Emeco teamed up with Jasper Morrison, one of the most influential industrial designers, to launch the 1 Inch Chair.

Morrison argues that design should be a tool to improve people's lives. His style is simple but full of ingenuity.

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Called it "a" Chair ", because of product of square recycling aluminum tube length for an inch, and aluminum processing and legendary Navy Chair, also after the 77 procedures, can be said to be the honor of classic design.

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Originally, if you use circular control, it is easy to make the desired shape of the chair.

But in order to retain Emeco, its feature of square tube Morrion and Emeco both sides attempt during process, continuous optimization design case on the other hand, mutual adaptation process "is like a table tennis match.


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Luckily, Emeco's final product was very satisfactory.

Because the 1 Inch Chair has not only maintained the iconic square tube, add the wooden Chair and the base to improve comfort, and developed by using a variety of Emeco recycling environmental protection material, is integrated with the essence of brand in 75 years.

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In addition to the bright spot in the design of environmental protection, the design of Emeco is also recognized by the industry. In fact, many large manufacturers will "learn" their designs and offer cheaper versions.


In 2015, Emeco complained that ikea's Melltorp Chair violated the design of 20-60 Stacking Chair, which was designed by Emeco and the apple park architect Norman Foster.

It is reported that both Emeco and ikea reached an out-of-court settlement in 2016, but did not release details of the settlement.

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In addition, Restoration Hardware, a large American furniture retail brand, also introduced a product similar to Navy Chair, which was removed after being sued by Emeco for infringement.


The start for cost savings and use recycled materials to do the most product brand, not only to a Navy Chair leave a mark on American culture, at the same time, also become the legend said "terminator" recycling enterprise:


Emeco believes that it is our responsibility to use recycled materials to make products.

And we hope to inspire others to participate in environmental protection.


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