Coca-Cola and Emeco collaborated to solve an environmental problem: Up-cycling consumer waste into a sustainable, timeless, classic chair. Made of 111 recycled PET bottles, the 111 Navy Chair is a story of innovation.
In 2006, Coca-Cola approached Emeco to solve an environmental problem — taking Coca-Cola bottles out of landfill and “upcycling” them into an iconic structural item, made to last.
Emeco committed to the challenge with the new material, taking soft recycled PET plastic, originally intended for short-lived fabric and textiles, and build a tough, one-piece, scratch-resistant chair for heavy-duty use. The development process required both determination and tenacity - and the help of experts at BASF. Finally, after 4 years of development, the chair was ready.
The 111 Navy - with the same iconic shape as the 1006 Navy chair but made of 111 recycled plastic bottles - was launched in 2010. “Although reengineering a core product was a significant investment for us, I was excited about the impact of using the rPET from millions of bottles each year. We’ve turned something many people throw away into something you want and keep for long, long time,” says Emecos Gregg Buchbinder.
In the first five years since its launch, over 15 million bottles have been saved from landfills.
“When I saw the 2006 “Super Normal” Exhibition at Axis Gallery in Tokyo that Jasper curated, I understood his design philosophy and began to see that Jasper’s design sensibility fit the Emeco values of timeless simplicity. As we worked together to create the 1 Inch and Alfi Collections, Jasper’s rigorous attention to every detail including materials, engineering, strength, comfort, finish, and the color was astounding.” - Gregg Buchbinder, Emeco.
Both 1 Inch and Alfi reflects Emeco and Jasper Morrison’s common appreciation for the invisible qualities behind simplicity.
"I’m more and more interested in working towards designs which take part in everyday life as naturally as possible. The 1” chair, though far from spectacular, is intended to be an updated Emeco solution to a wide variety of situations where something strong and less flashy is required. The design of the chair seemed basic enough and we were not expecting much trouble in developing it, but we underestimated the complication of bending square aluminium tubes in more than one plane simultaneously. It took Emeco several months of experimentation and it took us uncountable revisions to the drawing before we found the way to do it. It’s probably one of the most complicated chairs I’ve designed though it doesn’t look it." -Jasper Morrison.