Herman Miller brings back the Eames chair

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: June 11, 2013 3:49 pm ET

Image By: Herman Miller Inc. Herman Miller Inc. is bringing back the Eames chair, and setting up a "take-back" recycling program.

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Furniture, Office products

The original molded fiberglass chairs introduced by Herman Miller Inc. in 1950 became an icon both for the office furniture maker and designers Charles and Ray Eames.

The Zeeland, Mich.-based company stopped making the chairs in the 1989, though, due to concerns by Herman Miller about the material's environmental impact.

Now the company is bringing back the fiberglass Eames chair, using a new production process that Herman Miller says is friendlier to the environment. It also is launching a "take back" program to recycle the chairs at the end of their life.

The chairs will go on sale later this summer.

The Eames Molded Plastic Arm Chair and Side Chair were the first mass-produced plastic chairs when they debuted. Throughout its production life, the design was offered in a variety of colors, height options, base variations and also with upholstery.

The end came when the company decided it the original fiberglass production was "detrimental to the environment, both in manufacturing … and at the end of a chair's useful service," the company said in a June 10 news release.

In 2009, it began offering a similar version based on the original shape, but using a reinforced polypropylene.

Herman Miller says newer, more sustainable fiberglass options make it possible to resume production of the chair in fiberglass. It did not release any details, but said the new process will use a dry binding method for its fiberglass reinforcement along with a dry polyester, which eliminates the need for adhesives and thermal oxidizers. The company is also using what it terms a "monomer-free resin" in production.

The new "take back" program will create a nationwide network of companies that will recycle the new fiberglass chairs in the U.S., while Herman Miller also is trying to develop additional recycling networks in other regions.

Herman Miller is also tweaking another of its office chairs, though one nowhere near as well known as the Eames. The Mirra was first introduced in 2003, developed by the company and design group Studio 7.5 of Berlin.

The chair uses PP in a hybrid structure, encapsulating a mesh membrane seat. In re-thinking the design 10 years into the product's life, the designers and manufacturers were able to redesign the frame so it no longer needs a foam pad at the front of it, Herman Miller noted in a June 10 press release about the Mirra.

The "Butterfly Back" shell also more responsive to users' movements and has improved breathability to improve comfort.


Comments

Herman Miller brings back the Eames chair

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: June 11, 2013 3:49 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Price and sustainability both key to success for carpet recycler

February 26, 2015 1:28 pm ET

DALLAS — A green message will get you in the door, but ultimately that sustainability message has to be backed up with quality at the right...    More

Image

Silicone baby teether company working with Michigan recycler

February 26, 2015 1:14 pm ET

A recycling company and a startup will try to keep silicone baby products out of landfill.    More

Image

Plastics News Now: 'Cliff' from Cheers tackles skills gap with large donation

February 26, 2015 8:30 am ET

Actor John Ratzenberger takes a stand on American manufacturing, Monosol grows with the laundry detergent pod market, and film and bag recycling...    More

Image

Expert says more action needed to solve ocean plastics problem

February 25, 2015 5:59 pm ET

DALLAS — Private companies are going to have to step up to the plate and open their wallets if the world ever wants to solve the growing...    More

Image

Injection machinery makers showing off latest technology

February 25, 2015 2:18 pm ET

Lovers of injection molding — and automation — will find manufacturing nirvana at NPE 2015, when the Orange County Convention Center becom...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

North America represents about 30 percent of the global consumption of flexible packaging. Annual growth in this region is forecast at 4 percent during the next 5 years.

For more insight on growth opportunities, drivers of growth and the outlook for 2015, download this report.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events