Designer Ric Frampton remembers the moment he realised waste was a design issue. No matter how beautiful, how luxurious the item, if he didn’t start the design process thinking about the end life of the product, there were no guarantees where the product might end up. When naughtone approached him to work on a brand-new collection of sustainable seating solutions inspired by naughtone’s popular Always collection, it was a perfect match. The result? The Ever Chair and Sofa collection.
“It doesn’t matter if a chair lasts for 20 years, 40 years, 100 years—if the designer wasn’t responsible and never considered what happens to the product when it no longer meets a need, it could spend eternity in a landfill,” says Frampton. “Realising the weight of that responsibility completely changed my outlook and design process.”
According to the European Environment Bureau, 10 million tons of furniture is discarded in the European Union each year, with the majority being sent to either a landfill or incinerated. And while recycling rates have improved, remanufacturing accounts for less than 2% of the European Union manufacturing turnover, according to the European Remanufacturing Council.
Frampton’s first step in reshaping his design process was educating himself on recycling, sustainable design, and waste processes. He challenged himself to perceive the materials he was using as “being borrowed,” a perspective he feels takes designers on a very different journey during the creation process. “Too often furniture designs neglect to consider the deconstruction process, creating a product that is impossible for recycling plants to take apart,” he says.
When he began the project with naughtone, Frampton started with the end in mind. The Ever Chair and Sofa collection is carefully constructed for maximum comfort and quality while also boasting a structure easily deconstructed during the recycling process—meaning that instead of requiring specific machines not all recycling facilities are equipped with, the sofa could be broken down and recycled by hand with common tools. Its unique structure is highly scalable, meaning it’s easy to build and, perhaps even more importantly, easy to disassemble using simple hand tools for proper end of life recycling. And customers won’t need to worry about recycling it themselves–after a sofa reaches the end of its life, the sofa can simply be returned to naughtone via the company’s take-back programme. naughtone will then handle the rest, making sure each of the sofa’s materials make it to the right place.
The Ever sofa marks the first upholstered product naughtone has intentionally designed for circularity and easily executable end of life recycling. “This is a pivotal moment for our brand,” says Grace Todd, Brand Specialist at naughtone. “Sustainability is a key pillar of who we are at naughtone. We are always looking for ways we can improve what we are already doing—whether that’s a new product, material, technique, or something in between. We consistently strive to raise expectations and ask ourselves what’s next.”
The sofa collection will feature three different options, including an armchair, two-seat sofa and a three-seat sofa in a variety of fabrics and finishes, and is backed by naughtone’s 10-year-warranty. The collection was designed to harmonize with existing naughtone furniture, such as the Always portfolio, but its simple curves, purposeful angles, and vibrant colour palette make it a versatile fit for a variety of spaces.
The collection is now available for specification into projects, with high resolution images, environmental information and models available in pCon Planner.ME. Learn more about the collection here and email firstname.lastname@example.org for project pricing.