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Recycled Grey: Pedrali’s first chairs made from 100% recycled plastic

Pedrali’s iconic Remind and Babila XL chairs have been refreshed in 100% recycled material, ‘Recycled Grey.’ Mix sits downs with designers Odo Fioravanti and Eugeni Quitllet to find out more.

16/12/2021 3 min read
(left) Remind (right) babila XL

In line with its sustainability goals, Pedrali has launched its first collections made entirely from recycled plastic material. This extraordinary revolution has enabled the company to achieve yet another important milestone in its quest for environmental sustainability: a new material made 50% from plastic material post- consumer waste and 50% from plastic material industrial waste. Using plastic industrial waste is not new to Pedrali, which has always reintegrated part of its own industrial waste back into the production process.

All the products made from this new sustainable material share a characteristic grey hue, a neutral colour chosen to even out and conceal any imperfections typical of recycled materials.

One of the two new products made from this new material is the Remind ‘Recycled Grey’ chair, designed by Eugeni Quitllet. Drawing on the soft, sinuous curves of the wooden chairs of the late 19th century, Remind’s romantic design has a completely new feel about it in this recycled material. Made from a monoblock of injection-moulded polypropylene, the seat and backrest contribute to the chair’s airy, lightweight appearance, as well as to its embracing comfort. Functional, versatile and relatively small, this chair is suitable for both outdoor and indoor use thanks to the combination of harmonious lines and a lightweight yet sturdy material.

‘Innovation is sometimes a combination of things, design, technology, material, functionality and harmony,’ Eugeni tells us. ‘The design doesn’t directly show off its technology, but there is a lot of innovation: natural thermoregulation due to the holes on the seat and the backrest that let air go through when it’s too hot and easily dry in case of rain; perfect stackability to stock and transport less volume; and the fact that the same solution can be applied on a dining chair with arms and a side chair with the same intensity.’

Odo Fioravanti has created a ‘recycled grey’ version of his Babila XL armchair. ‘The uniqueness of Babila lies in its simple shapes and graceful aesthetics, combining rational and straight lines with softer shapes inspired to the human body,’ says Odo. ‘Babila XL Recycled Grey adds a stronger sustainable approach to this formal identity, also in its upholstered versions featuring a removable lining that recalls a woman’s dress.’

From the design phase the two designers worked with Pedrali to develop a series of products marked by enveloping comfort and an optimised use of resources. Plastic seats for the contract industry must be light and easy to move, and yet extremely resistant. This can be achieved by creating empty volumes using air moulding technology, as in the case of the Remind chair.

‘The manufacturing process involves a monobloc injected piece which is the best way to produce the material we use,’ explains Eugeni. ‘I like the idea that you can see where your personal effort goes when you recycle, and it comes back to you in a new and elegant way!’

The Babila armchair features polypropylene in various thicknesses. The material consists of a polypropylene coming from plastic material industrial waste on one side, and plastic material post-consumer waste on the other,’ says Odo. ‘These materials blend in a 100% recycled compound destined to the traditional injection moulding process. The plastic material is then heated up and pressed in specific moulds shaping the item.’

Finally, combining a plastic body with legs in a different materials such as wood or metal helps to ensure a high-quality performance – continuing Pedrali’s penchant for combining different materials, particularly metal, plastic material, wood and upholstery.

This is just another step in Pedrali’s ongoing journey towards environmental sustainability.  So, what’s next?

‘We are conscious that at a time which is characterised by a disruptive and inordinate maximisation of environmental resources, social responsibility means not only basing production and work ethics on “green” choices, but also making such choices an integral part of the corporate culture, as well as a medium-to-long-term business objective,’ Giuseppe Pedrali, Pedrali’s CEO tells Mix.

‘By analysing how much CO₂ we emit, we can determine the impact of our entire production cycle on the environment. With concrete data to hand, we can define continuous, monitorable and therefore achievable improvement goals.’

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