Ten sustainable furniture designs that aim to reduce environmental impact

Here are ten sustainable products from Dezeen Showroom including furniture made from recycled materials, responsibly sourced timber and reusable components.

Designers and brands have become increasingly conscious of how the products they create impact the planet.

As well as considering the materials and processes used to manufacture products, the focus is shifting to the entire lifespan of products, with designers and brands considering how products can be more easily repaired to extend their life in a bid to reduce emissions and mitigate damage to the environment.

Recycling materials to avoid waste and keeping products in use for as long as possible are two key principles of the circular economy, which many brands are trying to move towards.

From tabletops made from discarded yogurt pots to outdoor seating made from used beer kegs, here’s a selection of the latest sustainable products on Dezeen Showroom.

New Modern table system by Tiptoe

New Modern table system by Tiptoe

New Modern is a modular table system with trestle-style steel leg units that can be paired with different tabletops, created by French furniture brand Tiptoe.

The tables are made from responsibly sourced recycled or recyclable materials: its tabletops are rendered in either pinewood certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) or in a terrazzo-style recycled plastic made from discarded yogurt pots.

Each component of the table can be easily repaired or replaced. The tables are also shipped in an 80-per-cent-recycled paper in order to reduce the plastic waste and carbon emissions related to transportation.

Find out more about New Modern ›

Rely chair by Hee Welling for &tradition

Rely chair by Hee Welling for &tradition

Rely is a chair with a 100-per-cent-recycled plastic shell designed by Hee Welling for Danish brand &tradition.

The shell of each chair, which is made from recycled polypropylene, is injection moulded to form the seat and backrest as a single piece.

Black polypropylene panels taken from the interiors of scrapped cars are used to form the black version of the chair, while post-industrial waste is combined with a pigment to create other colours.

Find out more about Rely ›

Total modular sofas by Part & Whole

Total modular sofas by Part & Whole

Canadian design company Part & Whole designed a modular sofa system that can be configured into different arrangements. The seating can be used to create a standalone chair, straight-back sofas or larger corner sofas.

Called Total, each component of the sofa is removable, replaceable and repairable, extending the lifespan of the product, which is one of the principles of the circular economy.

Find out more about Total ›

Costume sofa system by Stefan Diez for Magis

Costume sofa system by Stefan Diez for Magis

German designer Stefan Diez has created a modular sofa system called Costume, which is designed to be easily taken apart, recycled and cleaned.

Diez designed the sofa to challenge conventional sofa design, which makes it difficult to separate various components and prevents them from being recycled and repaired. Instead, Diez created a new construction method that prevents the constituent elements from being permanently fused together, so the sofa can be completely dismantled or replaced.

The sofa’s structure is made from polyethylene that has been recycled from industrial waste and can itself be further recycled, while its textile cover is washable and replaceable.

Find out more about Costume ›

Smile Stool by Jaime Hayon for Benchmark

Smile Stool by Jaime Hayon for Benchmark

Spanish designer Jaime Hayon has designed the playful Smile Stool for British furniture maker Benchmark. The stool features two holes on the seat that create the eyes and are where the legs connect, while a mouth has been carved to serve as the carrying handle.

Made of American cherry wood, Benchmark has calculated that the stool stores more carbon in its timber than it emits via the production process, which makes it carbon negative.

The stool is manufactured in the UK and is classified Red List Free, which means it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals.

Find out more about Smile Stool ›

Blue NO2 Recycle chair by Fritz Hansen and Nendo

N02 Recycle chair by Nendo for Fritz Hansen

As its name suggests, N02 Recycle is a chair made from recycled plastic by Japanese studio Nendo for Danish design company Fritz Hansen.

The chair is made from plastic household waste such as food packaging, straws and plastic bottle lids that have been ground up into pellets and melted to form the chair.

The chair, which comes in new bar and counter heights, has been awarded the EU Ecolabel. At the end of its lifespan, the chair can be further recycled.

Find out more about N02 Recycle ›

Smart Ocean chair by Niels Diffrient for Humanscale

Smart Ocean chair by Niels Diffrient for Humanscale

Smart Ocean is an office chair created by the late American industrial designer Niels Diffrient for Humanscale.

The chair is made from discarded nylon plastic fishing nets that have been retrieved and repurposed into pellets used for manufacturing the chair. The modular design of the chair enables it to be easily disassembled and maintained, reducing the need to discard the chair completely when damaged.

The chair has undergone rigorous sustainability testing and was certified by International Living Future Institute to the full Living Product Challenge.

Find out more about Smart Ocean ›

Sling Lounge Chair by Sam Hecht and Kim Colin for Takt

Sling Lounge Chair by Sam Hecht and Kim Colin for Takt

Sling Lounge Chair is a reclined lounge chair with an EU Ecolabel created by Sam Hecht and Kim Colin of London studio Industrial Facility for Danish furniture company Takt.

The chair is composed of an FSC-certified oak frame, while the slung fabric seat is natural linen made from flax plant fibres in Europe. The production of the fabric uses less water than most other types of fabric production.

Assembled using just four screws, each component of the chair can be easily replaced when worn or old. The chair is flat packed into wooden segments, which minimises CO2 emissions during shipping.

Find out more about Sling Lounge Chair ›

Epix collection by Form Us With Love for Keilhauer

Epix workplace furniture by Form Us With Love for Keilhauer

Epix is a family of workplace furniture including seating, tables and storage created by Swedish studio Form Us With Love for Canadian office furniture brand Keilhauer.

Each product in the collection is fully recyclable, can be easily disassembled and the various components can be replaced, which gives them further longevity.

The chairs are constructed from pure materials to facilitate easy recycling. The seat is made of either pure polypropylene plastic or pure PET felt, while the frame is made from aluminium.

Find out more about Epix ›

Ocean OC2 outdoor seating by Jøergen and Nanna Ditzel for Mater

Ocean OC2 outdoor seating by Jøergen and Nanna Ditzel for Mater

Danish furniture brand Mater has updated its 1955 Ocean outdoor seating by Jørgen and Nanna Ditzel into a new model called Ocean OC2.

The seating, which was previously made from repurposed fishing nets and ocean waste plastic, is now made with used beer kegs from Danish brewer Carlsberg.

Mater has calculated that the chair produces up to 53 per cent less CO2 emissions than other chairs made from plastic.

Find out more about Ocean OC2 ›

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