Fourteen years ago Philippe Starck and Emeco partnered up to produce a recycled aluminum chair that was designed to last 150+ years. "A great chair never should have to be recycled: it's made for life," said Starck. Called the Heritage chair, the entire collection is made from 80% recycle aluminum. In fact, Emeco is known as the aluminum chair company. "That's what we do. Turning 80% recycled aluminum into classic chairs. It's not easy. In fact it takes 77 steps to get there. Sure we use a few machines, but for us they're just tools, operated by us, by hand. 116 hands to be exact. Not all at once though. To make just one chair it takes 50 hands 8 hours. And if you want it polished that's another 8 hours. Made by hand. It's what makes every chair unique. Look underneath a few. Some welds may be more buzzed than burred. Other more burred than buzzed. It's not a mistake. It's human. It's what makes an Emeco chair an Emeco chair."
It's great to see a major manufacturer like Emeco remain committed to making recycled materials a major part of quality design and craftsmanship. Over the years they've collaborate with designers like Frank Gehry and Norman Foster. For their latest collaborative effort, Starck and the folks at Emeco have created Broom, a chair that gives industrial waste a new life. "Imagine," Starck said, "a guy who takes a humble broom and starts to clean the workshop, and with this dust he makes new magic." He's talking about literally sweeping up the leftover waste on a factory floor and creating a revolutionary new new material from it.
The Broom chair is made of a new composite of industrial waste that's 75% reclaimed polypropylene, 15% reclaimed wood fibers and 10% glass fiber. The reclaimed polypropylene and wood fibers are combined to create a wood-polypropylene composite called WPP. When it's injected with gas during the molding process it creates a hollow, light weight material that's also remarkably durable—and comfortable. It comes in seven colors: dark grey, natural, green, orange, yellow and white.