05.10.2021  |  Strategi & ledelse

Case: Wehlers: From fishing net to chair designs

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Wehlers is a Danish sustainable furniture brand founded in Copenhagen in 2017 with a mission to create a planet with no waste. They design furniture solely made with recycled and sustainably sourced materials. Wehlers works with the term circular economy and insists on their furniture being repaired, reused and recycled during and after the “end of life cycle.”

In collaboration with C.F. Møller Design, Wehlers has designed and developed R.U.M. – a design chair made of trash. R.U.M. is short for ReUsedMaterials and is a sustainable chair with a plastic seat and back made of recycled post-use plastic waste from the maritime industry, such as fishing nets, trawls, ropes and boxes. The seat and back come in two colours, decided by the waste stream: Fishing nets make the chair dark green, whereas E-waste from electrical and electronic equipment makes the material black. E-waste is one of the fastest-growing waste streams in Europe.

The design of the stacking chair is rooted in circular principles, with its seat, back and pipe shoe all fashioned from granulated recycled material mounted on a steel frame. The design can be repaired, reused and recycled – and is designed for disassembly.

The Wehlers R.U.M. chair is proof that by designing on circular design principles it is possible to lower emissions and reduce the use of virgin materials significantly – all without compromising on aesthetics, price or quality – changing the furniture industry for good.

Wehlers is a Danish sustainable design furniture brand. Working with circular economy, Wehlers has designed an intelligent take-back system, which helps their designers, suppliers and customers become more sustainable. The company believes in circular principles and is convinced that well-designed, sustainable products are the starting point for a more sustainable interior. Wehlers closes material loops and takes responsibility when it comes to utilizing materials. Their furniture collection is designed so they can be reused at any point in the future.

Today’s linear “take, make, dispose” model relies on large quantities of cheap, easily accessible materials and energy, and it is a model that has reached its physical limits. Wehlers insist that their furniture is not only made of recycled and sustainable materials but also repaired, reused and recycled during and after ‘end-of-life cycle.

The demand for transparency is growing when consumers are deciding on a brand or product. Wehlers are working intensively with Block Chain Technology to show exactly what they are doing and how. Their chairs have passports that tell customers everything about the chair.

Meet the creative frontrunners from Wehlers. In our video portrait with Founder Maria Fryd Wehler, we explore how the born-circular company work circular in their furniture design.

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