This is awesome. Herman Miller has announced that it will start making the iconic Eames moulded Chair in fibreglass... again. The fibreglass chairs were discontinued from production in 1989, and ever since then the iconic chairs that decorate modern houses have been made with recyclable polypropylene. But now we're getting back to the good stuff.
First introduced in 1950, Ray Eames decided to discontinue the fibreglass model of the Eames moulded Chair in 1989 because its material chemistry was "detrimental to the environment" and the fibreglass couldn't be recycled. Totally sensible reasons.
Not anymore. Herman Miller has developed a more sustainable way to make fibreglass. The new manufacturing process (which cribs from the car industry) eliminates volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) during production. Herman Miller describes the process of its new fiberglass:
The fibreglass is now formed and processed using a woven, “dry binder” method instead of the traditional “wet” process, eliminating wet glue adhesives and instead relying on a heat-activated, dry polyester. This has also eliminated the need for thermal oxidizers and other environmental control equipment in the production process. Combined with a new “monomer-free” resin, the production process for the new fibreglass chairs is emission-free and creates a safer environment for the workers handling it, as well as a greener, recyclable shell at the end of the chair’s useful life.
Even better, Herman Miller reformulated the colour pigments to nail the vintage colour options for the new old Eames moulded Chair. The nine vintage colour options of the Eames moulded chair and side chair will be available later this year. They'll come in wire, dowel leg, four leg, stacking and rocking bases.
Here's what the fibreglass version of the Eames moulded Chair looks like: