Sustainable seating sourced on the seven seas? Sheesh! Humanscale, an office furniture brand, set out to create the most sustainable office chair on the market. And while the Humanscale Path task chair looks as un-flashy as its name sounds, the sustainable innovations packed inside are incredible. You might want to sit down for this.
First, for those who don’t know, a task chair is a desk or office chair meant to promote good posture and productivity while accommodating all body types. These chairs generally have no frills and are great for meeting rooms and shared workspaces.
The Path task chair accomplishes these goals with an intuitive balancing system and targeted tension areas within the seat that can make anyone feel comfortable and supported. Humanscale claims that 95 percent of the population can use this chair comfortably because, unlike many of its competitors, the chair was designed for a broad range of heights and weights. Humanscale could have stopped here and would’ve had a good chair. Fortunately, they weren’t aiming for just good.
The Path task chair, designed by Todd Bracher, weighs 41.6 pounds, with more than half of that sourced from recycled plastic. Ten pounds of that plastic comes from coastlines and the ocean, much of which is reclaimed fishing nets. The chair can be upholstered using plastic from water bottles. And because the entire product is manufactured in the U.S., shipping emissions can be reduced enough to give this chair a “climate positive rating.”
Humanscale is pushing the sustainable envelope in meaningful ways. The task chairs are made in a solar-powered plant that collects and reuses rainwater, so each chair can effectively remove “6 kg of CO2, [replenish] 15 gallons of water, [and generate] 23 kWh of energy,” the company claims.
Humanscale is aiming to make most of its products climate positive in the future and believes that competitors will soon follow suit. Bob King, Humanscale’s CEO, outlined the company’s goal pretty clearly when he said, “Our slogan is ‘doing less harm isn’t good enough.’ You have to start repairing some of the damage.”
The Path task chair, priced at $1,200, is just one step towards their vision.