Wherever we get a new item in the shop, I like to have a look to see what information is available about it. Today I was looking up the Arper 46 chairs that were just listed, and I was interested to find that the product description said it was 'eco'.
But, what does eco-friendly mean? As someone who has spent my career working on eco-labels and supply chains, I was curious to lift the lid on what this meant.
A little digging found the following:
'Arper has just obtained (March 2008) the environmental product declaration (EPD) for two of its most distinctive products currently on the market: the Catifa 53 and Catifa 46 (trestle and 4-leg base, self-colour and two-tone). The EPD is awarded after a life cycle assessment (LCA) of the products concerned. This enables their environmental impact from start to finish of their life cycle to be evaluated through an in-depth analysis of each stage of the process: raw materials, production and distribution, and then on to use and disposal. The transparency and accuracy of the information provided are guaranteed by the external EPD certification and by registration by Norway’s NHO (Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise)'.
In their environmental policy, they do a good job of summarising the life cycle impact of their chairs:
- Raw materials
- Material extraction and processing
- Chair assembly
Their results showed that raw materials had the biggest environmental impact. The overall carbon footprint was 18.7 kg CO2 equivalent. Interestingly, these chairs contain 43% recycled materials.
'How can we bring together creativity and sustainability? How can we reconcile the freedom of the former with the limits imposed by the latter in elegant functional solutions? We need new visions and crossover innovation, an ability to see limits as opportunities rather than obstacles.' - Arper Sustainability Report 2015
That's something that resonates with us here at ecochair - we see the great challenge of our limited resources, of the growing impact of climate change, as an opportunity.
ecochair is working exclusively on the 'end-of-life' part of the furniture life cycle - which has two positive impacts, the first is that by re-using instead of buying new, the rest of the life cycle impact is avoided; and second that the impact of disposing of the furniture at end of life is delayed.
Tip - We've got twenty of these chairs in our webshop - they are in great condition, other than some scratches on the sides of the seat (from stacking them on the table). They look good as is, but if you want a little project to polish out the scratches, here's what you can do:
You'll need 400-grit, 800-grit, 1000-grit, and 2000-grit sandpaper, as well as plastic cleaner and plastic polish. You'll want to use wet sanding, so soak the sandpaper in water prior to using it. Lightly sand the surface with the lowest grit sandpaper, working toward the highest, sanding for several minutes apiece. Buff with a soft towel afterwards, rinse, then buff with the plastic polish and rinse again.