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Armchair Sacco, special edition Sacco goes green 2019, Zanotta

| Designbest editorial staff

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co-sustainability, recycled as well as recyclable materials, bio-materials: interior design brands have begun to address environmental consciousness and the research undergone in the last couple of years is beginning to pay off. Zanotta’s armchair Sacco represents an extraordinary transformation that focuses on safeguarding the environment.

A design icon as well as a symbol of the cultural revolution of 1968 – a commercial success that popularised a new way of life, a matter that was practically unheard of in interior design history – to mark its fiftieth anniversary Sacco reinvents itself in a new version – “Sacco goes green”, presented for the first time in a numbered limited edition with special covers created by the French designer, artist and set designer Pierre Charpin, who was inspired by fishing nets salvaged from the seabed and then used to produce fabric (from January 2020, in joins Zanotta’s inventory in the standard covers in solid colours).  

Originally manufactured in 1969 by Aurelio Zanotta who sensed its genius, Sacco is the by-product of Piero Gatti, Cesare Paolini and Franco Teodoro’s non conformist ideas. Looking for an alternative solution to an ergonomic seat, the three young architects from Turin conjured up a shape that rather than opting for intricate mechanisms to adapt to human physiology, would just mould on a person’s body by inertia. A shell that contains an internal material capable to adapt a person’s position. As they were looking for a material that would suit their purpose the most, the three went from experimenting with water to plastic balls (ping-pong balls to be precise, as Aurelio Zanotta illustrates), until they finally reached the decision to fill the seat with expanded high-resistant polystyrene pellets: EPS, a material composed of polymers based on fossilised raw materials.

The next-gen “green” edition replaces EPS, a finite resource, with BioFoam® microspheres by Synbra: a bio-plastic (PLA) composed of vegetable polymers, derived from sugar cane, an endless resource. BioFoam® is comparable to EPS in structure, properties and technical performance and is also biodegradable, compostable, resistant and suitable for long-term use. 
The inner and outer shells are made of ECONYL®, a regenerated nylon thread made entirely from fishing nets collected from the seabed, fabric scraps and industrial plastics that are transformed into new threads with the same quality and performance of nylon extracted from oil. A yarn that can be regenerated, recreated and reshaped infinitely without using other natural resources.

"Sacco goes green" is the beginning of an important research and experimentation process on recycled materials and biomaterials started by Zanotta, a further step towards the sustainability and preservation of our environment, which we hope will set the benchmark.

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