A gaze into the future of furniture manufacturing
One of the most notable elements of our story here at Reseat encompasses the journey that founder and CEO, Brandi Susewitz, made throughout her endeavors in the office furniture industry.
Time and time again, she saw buildings be liquidated, their contents thrown to the landfills despite their like-new condition. Seeing those kinds of patterns recur perpetually can notch quite the pit in your stomach, knowing that furniture that’s built to last is only carrying out a single life.
The most jarring piece of data that we hold high in referencing just how corrupt this industry has been in regards to its circular economy is this:
17 billion pounds of office furniture ends up in landfills each year.
That’s why if you’re a facilities manager and are set on a mission for furnishing your office space, it’s crucial that you consider pre-owned pieces. You can create an environment in which the furniture tells a story, its second or third or fourth life becoming an active element of your workspace and part of your productivity. Not only can you create this illustrious space, but you can sleep with the satisfaction of knowing that you prevented some furniture from wasting away in landfill.
It’s no secret that we’re familiar with spaces consisting of pre-owned pieces, but what about furniture that’s made from pre-owned pieces? You know, like recycled materials? Those are very much alive and thriving now!
Humanscale is a company that has been producing furniture for the office industry since the early 80s, and continues to produce furniture whose designs are thinking ahead, considering not only the ergonomic factors, but the environmental ones as well.
In 2018, they debuted a line of chairs made from recycled fishing nets that might otherwise float aimlessly in the ocean or sit in a landfill. This is so incredibly innovative, especially for this industry. Materials like fishing nets are a great thing to recycle because they take nearly 600 years to decompose, shedding microplastics along the way (UN Environment Programme).
They also utilize recycled aluminum for the bones of many of their chairs, which is also a groundbreaking move for not only the company, but the entire office furniture industry. Aluminum is an excellent selection when deciding on renewed materials, as it is very easily recycled, strong, and therefore long lasting.
Another furniture manufacturer we love to see succeed in creating products from renewed materials is Emeco, who, in 2006, was approached by Coca-Cola who hoped to collaborate on creating furniture from recycled bottles (Emeco).
Through the four years of trials and tribulations in creating a chair from entirely renewed materials, they landed on a scratch-resistant, durable piece recognized as the 111 Navy. Throughout the production, the company has amazingly prevented over 15 million plastic bottles from entering landfills.
Humanscale and Emeco are just a few of the high-end names in the office furniture world who provide incredibly innovative and sustainable product options. One last highlight worth mentioning is Starck, a furniture manufacturing company who has created an armchair made from plywood, grown from reforestation.
The chair is recognized as the “Adela Rex,” assembled in pieces that fit together “like a puzzle,” free from screws empowering its occupant for simple assembly (Starck). In addition to it being an easily-assembled piece, it is also produced with sustainability in mind. Aside from the eco-friendly aspects of this piece, the chair itself sets an earthy tone to the office environment, which is something the company values in this design.
Furniture itself can bring a lot to any space, especially pre-owned pieces. Creating pieces from preexisting or sustainable materials, however, is a method slowly being popularized among top furniture manufacturers.
At Reseat, we love to see these pieces come and go throughout our marketplace. It reassures us that buyers are indeed taking the steps necessary to fulfill an environmentally-friendly morale.