GREGG Buchbinder is the CEO and owner of Emeco, which makes chairs utilising sustainable resources.
Electric Machine and Equipment Company was founded in 1944 and made furniture, building its reputation for making sturdy furniture for the US Navy. The business was sold to Jay Buchbinder in 1979, and Gregg acquired it in 1998.
Gregg collaborated with designers like Philippe Starck to create desirable pieces of furniture.
Along the way, Emeco strengthened its reputation by working with recycled and reclaimed materials. With Coca-Cola, it re-created the iconic Navy chair, using rPET plastic bottles in the 111 Navy Chair.
The Broom chair, with Philippe Starck, revived an old design combining waste polypropylene and reclaimed wood fibre. Similarly, the Alfi chair is made entirely from discarded industrial waste.
Gregg talks about Emeco’s onward journey.
The Seat Is Yours
HAVE a seat. Take a stand.
It’s there to support us, to do a job — day in and day out.
We also want it to look good, today and tomorrow.
In our ever-changing world, we at least know this much: Chairs will always have a place in our lives. To provide a place of rest, a place for getting together with family and friends over a meal.
But can something as functional as a chair play a bigger role: A family keepsake; a valuable object to pass on for generations; family stories, traditions and the appreciation for being well-made? A bridge between the past and a concern for the future?
Since Emeco started 75 years ago, we’ve used recycled and reclaimed materials to build chairs that last. We started in the ’40s with salvaged aluminum and turned it into chairs so strong that we guarantee them for life.
Today there’s a lot more to reclaim. Plastic bottles, industrial waste and used wood, to name a few.
We must all do our bit to help preserve the planet for future generations.
So, for me, something as simple and functional as a chair, can, and should, have a role to play.
Not only can it help us sit comfortably — and pretty — it can be a keepsake to remind future generations to sit lightly on the planet.
Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Re-imagine.