Broom Chair by Philippe Starck for Emeco


Broom chair by Philippe Starck for Emeco

This stacking chair by French designer Philippe Starck is made of discarded material found in lumber factories and industrial plastic plants.

Broom chair by Philippe Starck for Emeco

On display at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan last week, the Broom Chair is manufactured by Emeco, who famously created the aluminium Navy Chair.

Broom chair by Philippe Starck for Emeco

The reclaimed polypropylene and discarded wood-fibre can eventually be recycled and turned into a new wood-plastic composite, extending the lifespan of the waste materials even further.

Broom chair by Philippe Starck for Emeco

Emeco first stepped into recycled plastic rather than aluminum with the 111 Navy Chair made of recycled plastic cola bottles in 2010.

Broom chair by Philippe Starck for Emeco

See our other stories about Phillipe Starck and more stories about Emeco.

Broom chair by Philippe Starck for Emeco

The Salone Internazionale del Mobile took place from 17 to 22 April. See all our stories about Milan 2012 here.

Broom chair by Philippe Starck for Emeco

Here are some more details from Emeco:

The Broom chair.

An innovative creator and an environmentally pioneering manufacturer have joined efforts to work towards zero waste. A design collaboration that both avoids and eliminates waste, the Broom chair combines intelligent materiality with beautiful form.

Broom chair by Philippe Starck for Emeco

In the industrial age, most products live only in the present. They have no past and no future. Factories plunder raw materials from the earth to make products that soon end up on the trash heap. This process is still happening every day, all over the world. It is time to stop and think.

Broom chair by Philippe Starck for Emeco

‘The elegance of the minimum comes from the intelligence of the nothing,’ says Philippe Starck. ‘Mies Van der Rohe said “Less is more”, but with the Broom chair we can say “less and more”. Because we choose to make less – less “style”, less “design”, less material, less energy – finally we have more.’

Broom chair by Philippe Starck for Emeco

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

Broom chair by Philippe Starck for Emeco

In most manufacturing there is waste. Ends and pieces of plastic and wood are discarded and thrown away. Imagine a new material that sweeps up this waste, combines it, and makes something strong and smart and beautiful. The result is the Broom chair. It has a past life as industrial waste and a future as a chair in your life.

Broom chair by Philippe Starck for Emeco

‘Imagine,’ says Philippe Starck, ‘there is a humble guy who takes a humble broom and starts to clean the workshop and with this dust of nothing, with this he makes new magic. That's why we call it Broom.’

Broom chair by Philippe Starck for Emeco

‘Philippe Starck and I have always agreed that it is not about recycling, but about restructuring production,’ says Emeco CEO Gregg Buchbinder. ‘Our aim is to prevent waste from being manufactured in the first place. Instead we use discarded materials to make things that last.’

Broom chair by Philippe Starck for Emeco

Emeco has always been a pioneer of repurposed materials such as recycled aluminum and recycled PET. By exploiting the unique characteristics of the new wood-fiber polypropylene in the Broom chair, Emeco is experimenting with the product’s life-cycle again. Emeco has continuously led the way towards manufacturing with a conscience, delivering restrained products that have a minimal impact on the environment.

Broom chair by Philippe Starck for Emeco

Gregg Buchbinder says, ‘Emeco has used recycled materials in all our manufacturing since the 1940s. The Broom chair is a piece of that evolution. With each challenging innovation in material reuse we inspire people everywhere to join us in our cause for zero waste.’

  • bill

    Elegant and clever.

    • douglas

      Good use of waste yes …but Elegant?

      More like clunky and banal. This is another example of an incredibly talented designer who's been accused of 'over designing' and in response to the notion, designs with economy of material that equates to nothing more than contrived modesty, which has now become a new style.

      Its seen as legitimate to pick on Starck, but thats hypocritical. Everyone, including supposedly worthy designers like Jasper Morrison, is deluding themselves that the ethical response to a world overflowing with chairs, is a new chair.

  • What was the distance between the lumber factory and the Emeco factory?

  • mik

    I reminds me of orthopedic shoes

  • What great design using leftovers materials from lumber factories and industrial plastics! See the Navy 111 chair as well that uses recycled plastic coke bottles instead of aluminum as the original Navy chair did.

  • Chris

    Maybe the more sustainable question to ask would be; why do we need more designer chairs?

  • Xit

    Its bit late for Phillipe to redeem himself with regards to the overproduction of plastic goods.

  • Not many manufactures seriously committing to sustainability, so I say good all-round effort. Let’s hope it’s an inspiration for other manufacturers that insist on using virgin materials, which often can’t be separated for recycling.

  • Guy

    Greenwashing. It sounds good, but the essential weakness for me is that they have locked up a natural product – wood fibre, which is highly recyclable and highly bio-degradable – inside a synthetic product – polyprop – which has limited recycling capabilities and is very poorly bio-degradable. The result, despite their claims, is that the advantages to wood are reduced to the disadvantages of plastic. In the terms used by McDonough and Braungart, they have mixed up the products of the ecosphere with that of technosphere.

    • maxe

      I cannot agree more.