Meet the Tellus Bench, “the world’s first” furniture made from fossil-free steel

Street furniture brand Vestre and designer Emma Olbers have designed a unique and innovative piece of furniture called the Tellus Bench using fossil-free steel, produced without creating carbon emissions. Swedish steelmaker SSAB forged the steel used to build the Tellus Bench in its converted blast furnace, which utilizes green hydrogen instead of coal for heat, and hence it emits no carbon dioxide.

Designer: Vestre and Emma Olbers

Vestre intends to be recognized as the world’s most sustainable furniture company and claims that it is the first furniture manufacturer in the world to use fossil-free steel. Vestre uses steel to slash carbon emissions. “Early estimates show that converting all our steel to fossil-free could reduce our overall footprint by around 60 percent,” said Vestre chief sustainability officer Øyvind Bjørnstad. Designer Olbers wanted to lower emissions by using as few materials as possible to build the bench. “An outdoor bench for public environments must also withstand a lot of wear and tear,” Olbers said. “We have striven to use as little material as possible but still maintain the strong construction.”

Olbers wanted the bench to have a “metal feel”, while also possessing a welcoming and inviting appeal. The bench is equipped with wide armrests, that provide comfort to the user, while also offering sufficient space to place a coffee or tea cup. The Tellus bench is intended to be used in parks, and other public spaces, and is available in the classic RAL color. The bench is named after one of the alternative names for Planet Earth.

The material used to build the Tellus bench has the same properties as steel, but it is produced via a process called Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology (HYBRIT), during which green hydrogen is burned in the place of coal and coke. The green hydrogen is procured via the electrolysis of water, which splits and partitions the water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen and emits no greenhouse gases at all. The Tellus bench is meant to be the world’s first item of furniture made from fossil-free steel, and we cant wait to see how this innovative design will impact the world of furniture design.