Iconic furniture maker, Herman Miller continues to make strides in sustainable design with its recent announcement. The Sayl Chair, designed by renowned Swiss Designer Yves Béhar, will now incorporate up to 1.36 kg of ocean-bound plastic waste found near waterways, taking its sustainability credentials to the next level. This development follows the introduction of ocean-bound plastic in the brand’s renowned Aeron Chair in 2021.
The company’s ongoing commitment to sustainability is reflected in its long-term goal to increase recycled content to at least 50% across all materials it uses by 2030, including ocean-bound plastic. Sayl joins an impressive roster of Herman Miller products made with ocean-bound plastic, including Aeron, OE1, and Revenio textiles. Together, the company expects to divert 234 metric tons of ocean-bound plastic waste, the equivalent of 23 million water bottles, from the ocean annually.
First launched in 2010, Sayl’s eco-dematerialized design uses less material in inventive ways while providing ergonomic support and comfort. The chair’s 3D Intelligent back is an innovative design that combines freedom and support for a healthy balance. Unlike traditional backrests, the suspension back uses elastomer strands of varying thickness and tension to provide targeted support to the transition areas along the spine, while encouraging a full range of seated movement. Additionally, the passive PostureFit sacral support feature helps maintain the natural curvature of the spine and reduces fatigue by promoting a healthy posture.
The fully upholstered version of the work chair mimics the 3D Intelligent suspension of the foundational shell, offering similar dynamic support in a more traditional back. Furthermore, an optional lumbar support provides a 10-cm range of adjustment for added comfort.
Sayl’s unframed back and Y-Tower support not only provide excellent functionality but also create a visually striking design. Alternatively, a stretch-knit back cover is available to add a softer, warmer aesthetic while maintaining the breathability and support of Sayl’s signature 3-D suspension back. For those seeking a more traditional look, the fully upholstered version is available in an expressive palette to suit any interior.
Herman Miller’s commitment to sustainability is not only reflected in its products but also in its manufacturing process. The company strives to use new research, perspectives, and resources to improve existing products rather than always creating new ones, as noted by Gabe Wing, Director of Sustainability at MillerKnoll.
Designer Yves Béhar shared his thoughts on the product’s updates. “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 in recycled plastic diverted from rivers and oceans as the next step in bettering the design.”