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

Globalization brings sizable growth, primarily in Asia

November 25, 2014 1:40 pm ET

In 1990, the year after Plastics News published our first issue, there were 33,000 injection molding machines sold worldwide. Fast forward to 2013,...    More

Image

World Plastics Council takes on sustainbility for its initial priorities

November 25, 2014 9:51 am ET

The recently formed World Plastics Council (WPC) has set marine debris and post-consumer recycling and energy recover as its initial top priorities.    More

Image

AMA Plastics adds presses, changes management structure

November 24, 2014 3:57 pm ET

AMA Plastics Inc. has strengthened its management structure, received recognition for entrepreneurship, achieved quality improvements and added three ...    More

Image

Material Insights: Evonik attempts to replace microbeads

November 24, 2014 11:48 am ET

News on a plant opening, a plant closing and an investor's cease fire with Dow Chemical, this week on Material Insights.    More

Image

Indian plastics group targets waste

November 24, 2014 12:46 pm ET

An Indian plastics environmental group and the country's largest brand for packaged water, Bisleri International Pvt. Ltd., have launched a trial prog...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

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

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

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

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

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events