Feeding into the whole “green” frenzy, modern furniture manufacturers are now producing some of their most classic designs using eco-friendly materials. Manufacturers like Herman Miller and Knoll are giving green makeovers to iconic designs by the likes of Charles and Ray Eames, Florence Knoll and Eero Saarinen.
The Eames Lounger is a fine example. Originally produced in 1956 the Eames Lounge Chair is now considered one of the 20th century’s most significant furniture designs. In 1991, Herman Miller stopped using rosewood in the construction of the Eames Lounger, as it is a non-sustainable, endangered wood. Now the Eames Lounger is made using cherry and walnut from sustainably managed forests. Twenty-nine percent recyclable, the Eames Lounge Chair is made up of 24 percent recycled materials.
As a company, Herman Miller is serious about its commitment to corporate sustainability. Herman Miller’s Design for Environment team (DfE) carefully applies environmentally safe design standards to both new and classic pieces throughout the Herman Miller’s product catalog.
Another major player in the modern furniture industry, Knoll, has also been re-tooling some of its most well known pieces. Originally designed in 1948 by Eero Saarinen, the latest incarnation of the Womb Chair is GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified. Since the late 70s when Knoll hired a full-time environmental engineer, the company has been focused on producing high quality products with minimal impact on the environment.
In 2003, GREENGUARD certification was achieved for all KnollStudio seating as well as all KnollTextiles. Additionally, by 2005, more than 90 percent of the wood used to make all Knoll composite board products contained an average of 93-percent post-industrial material. With the eco-friendly trend gaining momentum like it has been over the past few years, it seems likely that more furniture manufacturers will follow suit. It just goes to show that a good design is a sustainable design.
Article submitted by Jamie Sward