Why opting for more environmentally friendly ideas should be seen as a challenge and how it can foster sustainable innovation
A common misconception among many businesses is that adopting more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices makes things harder, cost more and take longer. And in most cases, this just simply isn’t true. Having a clear goal of being more sustainable at the outset of any project should be seen as a challenge rather than a hindrance, and can really help you innovate and come up with creative solutions, resulting in original and environmentally friendly designs.
So what happens when you set yourself up for sustainable innovation?
In 2017, Italian/Hungarian industrial designer Andrea Ruggiero was invited to experiment in the Offecct Lab in order to find a way of turning waste material into a high performing commercial product. The result was Offect Soundsticks® not only a sustainable product but also something new and relevant to the growing acoustic segment.
Offecct Soundsticks® consist of textile scraps from upholstery production, which is moulded into the shape of a tube, held together at the ends by recycled aluminium caps. These textile “sticks” hang from rails in linear or radial shapes that can be combined depending on need and space.
To ensure the availability of qualitative fabrics to Soundsticks®, Offecct collaborate with Flokk’s other production units on the availability of materials. The availability of fabric leftovers decides the colours, the structure and the volumes. The product is completely without glue (fabric is attached with a zipper) and the bottom plate is made from recycled aluminium.
“Together with our collaborations with world-leading designers, we continue to offer innovative design on the planet’s terms. Our mission of creating furniture for a better, healthier and greener world is more important than ever before,"says Maria Olofsson Karemyr, Brand Manager for Offecct
Across the entire range of Flokk brands, sustainable innovation is always in action, and in 2019, the launch of the RH New Logic brought every tiny detail into focus to create our most sustainable chair to date. An update of the original RH Logic, 5 years of design work went into the project, ensuring a supremely comfortable, ergonomic and stylish design, but also a chair that can meet those demands whilst incorporating a host of sustainable innovations.
The chair is designed for complete disassembly, allowing every component to be removed and replaced without damaging the chair. A patented drawstring spindle attached the fabric securely without the use of any glues, meaning this too can be removed and replaced.
61% of all materials used are recycled, including 69% of the plastic, 94% of the aluminium and 19% of the steel. The hope is that future updates to the design will increase these figures further.
The Flokk Research & Development department is always busy working on projects exploring the viability of various sustainable and renewable resources. One such project - in collaboration with Nordic research institute SINTEF – is looking into potential sources of post-consumer materials that can be recycled into our designs.
After obtaining a batch of discarded snow plough markers (big orange sticks used to guide snow ploughs along the highways of Norway when snowfall hides the road surface) the team ascertained they were indeed a viable material, and after running tests found their inherent strength made them the perfect recycled material for making furniture from.
The result was a limited edition run of 200 HÅG Capisco Puls chairs in a unique auburn colour, derived from the mix of mainly orange but some black poles. Whilst the chair features a massively increased share of recycled materials, its overall shape, strength and durability remain unaffected, and the information gathered through the research project can be used for future development with new materials, such as ocean plastics and other post-consumer plastics.
Click here to read more about the Limited Edition HÅG Capisco Puls
Flokk has 40 years' history of a structured focus on the environment, enabling us to be leaders in the development of sustainable furniture. We believe in a holistic approach, that goes way beyond the materials we use.
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