Phillipe Starck’s Broom – A sustainable chair that swept away industrial waste like magic

Here is some food for thought – what if our leftovers could be turned to functional furniture that looked food? I mean good, that looked good! Phillipe Starck is a French designer which means he eats really good food and has managed to turn the leftovers into some really good chairs called the Broom for Emeco. Global food waste (aka leftovers) is twice as high as predicted reports CNN but leftovers don’t necessarily mean just food – it is any waste that ends up in the trash and the solution to waste management lies in creative, sustainable design. The Broom is a fine example of just that! Recycled, recyclable and designed to last – this is where rubbish becomes responsible.

The relationship between Phillipe Starck and Emeco is what turned the company from just a US Navy supplier to a coveted furniture design brand. “Working with Emeco has allowed me to use recycled material and transform it into something that never needs to be discarded – a tireless and unbreakable chair to use and enjoy for a lifetime,” says Starck who believes every creator has a duty to the society. Emeco uses recycled aluminum, recycled PET, reclaimed wood polypropylene, eco-concrete, and cork. In fact, the Broom chair is made of 90% reclaimed waste polypropylene and wood fiber that would normally be swept into the trash – hence the name!

Broom is the ingenious result of a design collaboration that both avoids and eliminates waste. It is made from a compound of industrial waste from lumber factories and industrial plastic plants – 75% waste polypropylene and 15% reclaimed wood that usually ends up in the trash. It checks all the boxes for sustainable furniture with its three-fold environmental impact – less energy, less waste, and less carbon. “With the Broom chair, it is about less and more. We chose less – less “style”, less “design”, less material, less waste, less energy. And so, the Broom chair became so much more” says Starck when talking about the design process to make a chair that does more than being a surface to sit on.

The Broom comes in 6 colors, can be stacked easily, perfect for outdoor use and very low maintenance (honestly, just clean with soapy water and wipe with a soft cloth).  The wood particles create a speckled texture that gives the surface a warmer, more natural touch, each chair will have its own unique textured pattern. Wood is good, polypropylene is not so good, but the combination made from the two gives us a material that lasts like synthetic but has the spirit of nature. This is sourced from woodshops and plastic producing worksites, it is then cleaned, compressed and transformed into a wood composite that works for the environment instead of harming it.

“Imagine”, says Philippe Starck, “a guy who takes a humble broom and starts to clean the workshop and with this dust he makes new magic” and we bet JK Rowling will agree that brooms are truly magic.

Designer: Philippe Starck for Emeco.

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