These colourful chairs and screens were surplus parachutes once upon a time!

Today designers leave no material untouched in their attempt to create the most unique and innovative designs. Whether it’s recycled metals, cork, coconut fibers, you name it and the best of designers can incorporate it! Benjamin Hubert’s design agency Layer and the responsible fashion studio Raeburn came together to explore such a territory. Their ‘Canopy Collection’ consists of recycled parachute material wrapped over welded steel frames to create four rocking chairs and two screens. The collaboration was an attempt to merge both the respective brands’ passion for sustainability and their ever-growing interest in “recontextualizing undervalued materials”.

Designers: Layer x Raeburn

Combining two completely different worlds; industrial design and fashion, “The collection presents a timeless design language of strict geometry which acts as a framework for Raeburn’s innovative and forward-thinking recycled parachute upholstery.” Layer and Raeburn scrounged through the archives of Raeburn, to study how the brand has previously repurposed surplus ex-military parachutes to create statement fashion pieces. The unique ideas were transformed and integrated with furniture design.

“The Canopy Collection uses the strict geometry of the steel frames as a base on which to experiment with innovative and forward-thinking recycled parachute upholstery,” said the masterminds behind the collection. It is inspired by the semantics of a parachute in-flight “The lounge chair gently rocks back and forth whilst the re-configurable screen takes inspiration from the section and construction of a wing.” The entire collection reminds me of a billowy parachute wavering in the air, and then subtly settling onto the ground.

Though all the rocking chairs are crafted out of surplus ex-military parachutes and aircraft brake parachutes, they all exhibit varied auras and forms. One of them is multi-colored, boasting vivid tones of orange, white and olive green, while still possessing a very simple aesthetic. The screens are a result of the parachute material being stretched tacitly on the metal base, following a color scheme of orange, green and white as well. Reconfigurable, the screens can be easily opened and closed and moved to wherever you would want them to be placed.

Whereas two of the other rocking chairs showcase a tousled-feathery look, created by draping layers of the material over the steel structure, giving the entire piece a raw and rugged feel. They come in shades of black and white respectively, providing a stark contrast to one another.

Launched during the London Design Festival, the collection is all set to be exhibited at Raeburn’s new SOHO, London store. With an intense combination of fashion, sustainability, a well thought out design, and vibrant colors, this collection is sure to be a hit!