I love creativity, especially when it results in sustainability and innovation. When I found Emeco chairs, I was blown away by what they were doing. They make chairs, mostly from recycled materials, and always to last. They lead the industry, exploring and innovating ways to use consumer and industrial waste, and environmentally responsible resources to create and build simple, timeless furniture. They are committed to protecting our environment by choosing materials, methods, and processes that offer the least risk to our environment, without compromising design, performance, or affordability. The Emeco story started in 1944 and continues to come up with innovative ways to foster sustainability. They make me proud to have their chairs and stools in my home. Check out their story and you’ll see why.
Begin with what’s left over. Turn it into what will last.
Pretty much our story.
How it All Began
In 1944, Emeco collaborated with the US Navy to build the perfect chair. The requirements included being lightweight, fireproof, able to withstand the salt air, and durable. They were made with 80% recycled materials and made to last a lifetime.
They make their aluminum chairs from sheets of recycled aluminum that they cut and bend into parts. Each part – every chair leg, every seat and every seat back – is welded together. Then, those parts are assembled by welding together the pieces into a one-piece, monolithic chair.
Our aluminum chairs have no hardware fasteners. Each chair is a solid entity. Some chairs require many hours, and yards, of hand welding. Finally, all welds are ground perfectly smooth for a flush appearance.
In its purest form, aluminum is very soft. To make our chairs ”torpedo proof”, which was the original requirement by the US Navy in the 1940’s, they put them through a proprietary heat treatment that includes a 960 F degree salt bath and baking the chair in a special oven overnight. This process turns the soft aluminum 3 times stronger than steel.
Today, you can find Emeco chairs everywhere from hotels and restaurants to people’s homes.
Onwards with Coca Cola
In 2006, Coca Cola challenged Emeco to turn plastic bottles into a structurally sound chair. The result was the 111 Navy Chair. The 111 Navy Collection as an excellent example of innovation.
111 Navy Collection
The 111 Navy Collection is a story of innovation, turning waste plastic into something that lasts. Each stool is made of 150 recycled PET bottles. Like the original 111 Navy chair, these one-piece stools are an engineering success – made to stand up to heavy use, and made in the USA.
The plastic bottles are shredded, made into pellets, pigment is added, and injection molded to make the 111 Navy chair. Every year, more than 10,000,000 bottles are kept out of landfills, and Emeco has inspired other companies to follow suit and use this material.
Make more with less.
In 1944, it was recycled aluminum.
Today, there’s a lot more to reclaim.
The point is to make really good chairs.
Good means more than just for sitting.
When I support companies like Emeco that reuse, recycle, and re-image, I feel more confident about the world my children are growing up in. We all have to be committed to protecting our environment, and choosing Emeco chairs is a step in the right direction.