Herman Miller Expands Pioneering Use of Ocean-Bound Plastic

Herman Miller is increasing the use of ocean-bound plastic within the modern furniture maker’s portfolio. Sayl Chair, designed by esteemed Swiss Designer Yves Béhar and released in Europe in 2022, will now be available in North America, Asia, and Latin America.

Each chair includes up to 0.9 pounds of mismanaged plastic waste found near waterways. This builds upon the momentum created by the introduction of ocean-plastic in the iconic Aeron Chair in 2021.

As part of the MillerKnoll collective, today’s announcement highlights Herman Miller’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, and another substantial step towards its long-term goal to increase recycled content to at least 50 percent, including the use of ocean-bound plastic, across all material the Company uses by 2030.

Sayl joins an impressive roster of Herman Miller products now being made with ocean-bound plastic. Between Aeron, Sayl, and other product lines including OE1 and five proprietary textiles, the Company’s 2023 sales forecast estimates 326 metric tons of ocean-bound plastic, the equivalent of 32 million water bottles, will be diverted from the ocean annually.

“True innovation isn’t always about making new products,” says Gabe Wing, Director of Sustainability at MillerKnoll. “Oftentimes it can be looking for ways to use new research, perspectives, and resources to improve what already exists. Our team is incredibly excited to continue to improve and introduce products that promote responsible use of Earth’s resources.”

Since its introduction in 2010, Sayl Chair has been a leader in responsible design. Inspired by the Golden Gate Bridge, the eco-dematerialized design of Sayl was specifically created to use less material in inventive ways while providing ergonomic support and comfort. Additionally, the chair is up to 87% recyclable at the end of life based on available recycling facilities.  

Yves Béhar, the designer of Sayl and founder of fuseproject, comments: “Charles Eames once said ‘Design is never done.’ That is true for the Sayl Chair as improvements continue to be made years and years after launch. It was designed from the start as a light, simple, and lower carbon footprint chair in the full-featured task chairs category. And now, years after its launch I’m excited to see Sayl manufactured with recycled plastic diverted from rivers and oceans as the next step in bettering the design. At fuseproject, that has always been a focus and passion, and will continue to be central to our work.” 

To learn more about the specific environmental information for each variation of the Sayl or Aeron Chairs and to see how purchasing these items can contribute to green building standards including LEED, please visit https://www.hermanmiller.com/better-world/sustainability/ocean-bound-plastic/

Sayl can be purchased in stores and online at both Herman Miller and Design Within Reach and through MillerKnoll dealers for contract customers. Retail pricing begins at $750 USD.  Color availability may vary. Visit the Herman Miller website for details.