Humanscale Ergonomic Office Chair

The people at Humanscale are tackling the problem of footprints, and the possibilities of handprints, in their design and manufacturing of ergonomic office tools.

“Footprints are the damage we do by consuming resources and emitting pollution. No matter how small, they are still a negative impact. Measuring handprints – or positive impact – follows the same logic as measuring footprints. When added together, footprints and handprints determine an organization’s net impact. They show us whether we’re doing more good than harm, and leaving the world better off. When measuring our net impact, we look at the entire life cycle.”

To produce their environmentally friendly Smart Ocean chair, Humanscale began a partnership with Bureo — an emerging venture developing innovative solutions to prevent ocean plastic pollution. In 2013, Bureo founded Chile’s first fishing net collection and recycling program, Net Positiva. Nets are cleaned, mechanically shredded and pelletized to produce Bureo’s ‘NetPlus’ material. These pellets are used to manufacture quality products such as skateboards, sunglasses and now — for the first time ever — an ergonomic task chair.

Smart Ocean is the embodiment of Humanscale’s commitment to sustainable manufacturing. Each chair incorporates almost 2 pounds of recycled fishing net material that originates from Bureo’s Net+Positiva program, and is Living Product certified — meeting the most rigorous sustainable manufacturing criteria to date.

“Reducing footprints is a great place to start, but a tragic place to stop.”
Greg Norris, Chief Scientist, ILFI, and Director, SHINE@MIT

According to Greenpeace, more than 640,000 tons of nets, lines, pots and traps used in commercial fishing are dumped and discarded in the sea every year, the same weight as 55,000 double-decker buses.


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