Recycled Cork vs Recycled Plastic

— 01 February 2021

Naturally harvested from the cork oak forests of the Mediterranean basin, cork is primarily used in the manufacture of wine bottle stoppers. The leftover material is processed into blocks and cut to shape to form the seats of the Michael stool. 100% recycled, 100% recyclable, biodegradable and renewable, cork is one of our favourite materials.

What’s more, cork forests are biodiversity hotspots supporting endangered species such as the Iberian Lynx, Barbary deer and Iberian Eagle. When it comes to flora, these forests are so biodiverse that one square metre can contain up to 135 species including endemic species found nowhere else on the planet.

By using industrial scrap, we are ensuring maximum value can be obtained from this material, encouraging preservation of these wonderful forest habitats and time-honoured cork harvesting techniques. At the end of its life, cork can be reprocessed for remanufacture or simply returned to the earth.

5% of the sale of every Michael stool is donated to Movement On The Ground to support their efforts to improve living conditions inside refugee camps on the islands of Lesvos and Samos.

PET felt is made by reprocessing plastic bottles that are washed, crushed, flaked and spun into long fibres before being carded like wool, layered into sheets and pressed to form rolls of felt. The felt is then shaped in a precisely engineered mould and water jet cut to form the seat of the Richard chair. Tough, durable and perfectly formed, every seat is 100% recycled and helps keep plastic waste from terrestrial and ocean environments.

PET felt has been around for some time but this is the first time we have been able to get 100% recycled material. Never has plastic waste looked so good.