Cover Magis Costume Sofa

These days, good design includes designing with sustainability in mind. From material choice to manufacturing techniques, here are five eco-conscious furniture brands and the essential pieces from each

As with all industries, the design world has undergone a shift toward sustainable production. This movement has produced furniture which is not only good for the environment but has serious design cred.

We identify five furniture brands that have embraced sustainability and are at the cutting edge of this eco-renaissance

1. Magis

Pushing the boundaries of design since 1976, Magis is a family business with a global outlook but rooted in Northern Italy. With a product portfolio boasting collaborations with some of the industry's most distinguished designers ranging from Eero Arnio to Jasper Morrison. Distinguished for the hyper-innovation in materials, some of which have won Compasso d’Oro awards, Magis’ “green” expressions continue to multiply. 

Two of these are Bell, a chair by Konstantin Grcic in recycled polypropylene sourced from production waste, and Costume by Stefan Diez, a sofa in recycled and recyclable polyethene outlines a new concept of relaxation. Also, with almost all of the suppliers located in Italy, the logistical and ecological footprint of production is relatively small.

Magis is available from Forest Furniture and Xtra Singapore

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2. Emeco

Emeco, the originator of the iconic aluminium Navy chair, claims they have been sustainable since it started in 1944. After all, the Navy chair was made from salvaged aluminium for the US Navy. While this was a war-time necessity, that philosophy became an ongoing direction.

These days, Emeco is at the forefront of innovative materials like scrap plastic. By keeping this "waste" out of oceans and landfills and turning it into chairs that last, the American brand is leading the way in sustainable design.

 

The Broom chair by Philippe Starck introduces an entirely new chair material composite, combining reclaimed polypropylene and discarded wood fibre. Made from a compound of industrial waste from lumber factories and industrial plastic plants, this material has a three-fold environmental impact: less energy, less waste and less carbon.

Utility, the new chairs designed by Jasper Morrison, showcase a purposeful and utilitarian design. Made from solid wood sustainably sourced from Appalachian forests and recycled aluminium, its sensible form ensures it will last (in style and functionality) for years to come.

Emeco is available from Space Furniture

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3. Fritz Hansen

Founded in Copenhagen 150 years ago, Fritz Hansen is an internationally renowned interior design brand who have produced classics from the design canon. From Arne Jacobsen’s Egg, Swan, Series 7 and Ant chairs to Hans Wegner’s China chair and Poul Kjærholm’s PK22 easy chair, Kaare Klint, Verner Panton, Piet Hein and Børge Mogensen are other designers that feature in the incomparable Fritz Hansen back catalogue. 

 

The Danish company's commitment to sustainability extends not just to its manufacturing process but to working with designers with a holistic approach to design and a similar taste in materials and creative expression. This is apparent in their collaboration with Nendo on the N02 Recycle chair. As its name implies, N02 Recycle is a fully recyclable chair made from upcycled plastic household waste that can be recycled again. 

The Ro armchair by Jaime Hayon is another sterling example. Named after the Danish word for ‘tranquillity’, Ro is made with excellent craftsmanship and the highest sustainable quality that does not compromise comfort or aesthetics.

Fritz Hansen is available at W. Atelier and X-tra Malaysia

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4. HAY

A Danish design company founded in 2002, HAY's innovation, bold designs and high-quality industrial manufacturing have made it one of the leading Scandinavian design brands in a relatively short time.

Many of HAY's products have become iconic pieces of modern design. Their success has been distinguished by giving the designers they work with complete creative freedom as long as they follow HAY's main principles: architectonic, design and technological ambitions, and sustainability.

 

HAY optimises using sustainable materials such as recycled materials, FSC-certified wood and water-based lacquer, with a growing number of eco-certified products. 

One stellar example is the Woody shelving collection, made from FSC-certified wood and water-based lacquer. Initially designed for inventory use, the demand for this ladder-inspired shelving system was so compelling it was put into commercial production.

The Bernard armchair is another instance where designer Shane Schneck created a modern, sustainable take on the easy-chair genre that preserves the typology's defining characteristic: relaxed, durable comfort.

HAY is available at SMUK Living

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5. &tradition

&Tradition is a Danish company synonymous with Nordic heritage in contemporary design. Combining handicraft with modern design and Nordic tradition with high quality, the brand is renowned for producing some of Verner Panton’s and Arne Jacobsen’s most celebrated designs.

The brand also works with today's leading designers and tomorrow's talents to create the classics of the future. While the brand is well known internationally, its roots are still Nordic, and tradition is still a part of its identity; this design is made to last from sustainable production and respect for nature.

 

Collections are designed to be passed down through generations, where social responsibility and sustainable design play a large part in that process. These EU Ecolabel products include In Between, Sami Kallio’s chair inspired by the Scandinavian heritage of design and furniture craftsmanship, and Hee Welling’s Rely task chair with its recycled plastic shell.

&tradition is available at Made and Make, and SMUK Living

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