Designers have long shaped their wares from reclaimed products—in some cases, going so far as to create those re-purposed materials from scratch. When done properly, the character and green bent they bring to the finished goods are hard to match. The following furnishings and surfaces represent the latest innovations to come of this ever-present trend, giving discarded plastic bottles, reclaimed concrete, even decommissioned banknotes a second chance.
Tono, ICF Group
Ray and Charles Eames’ shell chair has inspired more than a few copycats. More recent iterations have attempted to swap the iconic molded glass-fiber (and later, plastic) shell with an eco-friendly alternative. For Norwich, Conn.–based furniture brand ICF and collaborating Danish designer Hans Thyge, that meant using recycled PET bottles to form the curved, minimalist shell of their Tono Chair, a softer and more flexible nod to the Eames original. The seat comes in light or dark gray with an upholstered seat. Its four-legged base can be specified in either gray or slate-gray powdercoated steel, white-oiled oak, white-oiled ash, or black-lacquered ash.
The Riverside, Calif.–based tile maker digitally prints eclectic designs on its proprietary ceramic made of half concrete and half recycled glass. The large-format Corrosi tiles measure 24” by 18” and feature a large-scale, repeating chevron design that melds organic and industrial influences. Weighing 2.5 lbs. per square foot, the 1/4”-thick tiles can be used on interior floors and walls and on exterior walls.
Alfi Collection, Emeco
The maker of the iconic Navy Chair continues its use of reclaimed, post-industrial materials in the Alfi Collection. Created in collaboration with British industrial designer Jasper Morrison, Alfi features a simple shell made of 92.5% reclaimed polypropylene and 7.5% reclaimed wood fibers. The collection includes chair, counter, and bar-stool versions in two heights, as well as a three-seat bench, all of which can be specified with high or low backs. An elliptical cut-out in each chair’s back makes for easy transport. The ash wood bases are sourced locally from Amish craftsmen near the company’s Hanover, Pa., headquarters. The seat comes in an earth-tone palette of brown, green, sand, red, and dark gray hues.
Known for covering its quirky office furnishings in eco-friendly wraps, BuzziSpace continues the trend with BuzziDonut, a suspended or wall-mounted luminaire whose sound-abating shade has the option to be clad in the company’s eponymous fabric comprising a mix of recycled wool, recycled polyacrylic, and recycled rags. The 11W light source, concealed behind a circular diffuser, fits within the panel’s punched-out center; it comes in 2700K with a CRI of 85 and provides 35 lumens per watt.
Project.value, Angela Mathis
London-based designer Angela Mathis is putting a fresh twist on old money. Using decommissioned and shredded banknotes from the U.S., the United Kingdom, Indonesia, and parts of Europe, Mathis mixes and matches, and grinds, binds, and sews the colorful bills to create a fabric used to upholster a set of stools. Watch her process in the video below: