The story about NicoLess

RESPONSIBLE DESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE FURNITURE.

Nico Less chair is a response to the human need to reduce our carbon imprint on the planet and to rediscover waste as an industrial material of the future. Re-thinking a new philosophy of socially responsible, sustainable design, Primoz Jeza Studio and Donar created a chair made of recycled Felt (60% re-cycled PP bottles and 40% non-woven textile). 

The amount of waste in the form of PET bottles is increasing every year and they can be recycled in different type of material. The use of waste as industrial materials of the future is an important asset to reduce CO2 emissions produced in different industrial processes.

Donar is implementing a new approach in furniture production industry - using a process borrowed from the car industry we designed and produced many sustainable products made from waste materials and Nico Less is the most awarded and widely recognized among all.

The goal was to use material that is considered ‘trash’ – felt made from recycled plastic bottles.

 

MATERIAL, PRODUCTION AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Since 2012, Donar is following three simple points to create a strategy that follows implementation of circular economy concepts. The first key point is environmental awareness. 

Second is social impact, which includes sustainable design. 

And the third is educating customers and users through new user experience.

When discovering the recycled felt and the ways of how to treat it in order to use it in furniture production, Donar encountered many challenges. The development itself took 2-3 years to be able to produce a chair that is durable, comfortable and accessible to many people. But in the end we found a sustainable material with minimal environmental impact.

 

MATERIAL

For the production of Nico Less we use recycled felt that is made of 60-70% recycled plastic bottles and 30-40% nonwoven textile. Besides that, we started using the felt that is an industrial residue of the company that produces felt. If we wouldn´t use it for the production of our felt products, this material would end up incinerated and pollute the environment even more. In this way we can surely say that the felt we use is 100% waste.

We have also made a research of recyclability of the shells after the life cycle of the product ends and got a positive results from a test - we have fully recycled the shell from which we are able to make a new material for further use in production. In this way we are able to close the full circle of the life of material and product.

 

Nico Less shell is produced using only the combination of heat and pressure.

We preheat the 3-4 layers of material in a special oven, insert the material in the mold and press the material for a certain time. After the shape is made, we take the chair out of the mold and wait till it cools down - after that the shape will be flexible, strong and permanent.

With the technology, borrowed from automotive industry and adapted to the furniture industry, we achieved comfortable seating by adapting the shape to the human body. The development took many years because of the tests to get perfect results while avoiding the use of any glue or other adhesives.

Today we can proudly confirm that Nico Less doesn´t contain any glue or adhesives, further more has no reinforcements inside and the shape itself provides all the necessary strength.

The shell is easily installed to the metal frame, which is durable and treated with powder coated finish. We applied a simple DIY solution with attaching the shell with black cable ties, so anyone can assemble the chair easily at home.

 

 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Nico Less is made from recycled felt that is being saved from incineration which means it carries a positive impact on the environment. With unique design and it´s emotional value we created a long lasting piece of furniture.

Let´s see some numbers:

Nico Less contains 980g of recycled plastic in one shell.

That is around 60 - 70 plastic bottles per shell.

This means 980 kg of waste plastic is used per 1000 pcs produced Nico Less chairs.

As we use the felt, that is saved from incineration, we also save 1926 kg of CO2 that would occur during incineration.

Also - we save 247 kg of CO2 that would occur if the waste would be disposed on the fields. 

After the life cycle of the product ends, the shell can be 100% recycled and transformed into a new material.

Calculations were made by the article from Ola Eriksson, PhD, Associate Professor 

from University of Gävle, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering.

 

Design is not just about lines and beauty, but foremost about its social impact.

With our story we raise awareness and encourage responsible behavior, and encourage the use of wasted plastic. The price is socially responsible, as we want for the good design to be functional and affordable to all people. In case after years of use the chair shell is destroyed, the user simply cuts of the ties and replaces it with the new shell.

Nico Less is a response to ever growing problem of plastic pollution and a proof that sustainability, when designed right, enhances rather than compromises on the ergonomic and aesthetic features of the product.

Many national and international awards make Nico Less one of the most awarded products in the industry and prove that we are on the right path which we will continue to passionately follow. We´ll increase the positive impact on the environment with every new product made from sustainable materials and continue to educate by shifting the collective perspective of waste.

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