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Kartell and illycaffè, Re Chair - design Antonio Citterio

| Designbest editorial staff


hat does the Italian coffee ritual have to do with the designer furniture brand Kartell? Well, everything, as far as sustainability is concerned. On the occasion of the Salone del Mobile 2022 Kartell has decided to focus on defending the environment with another high-quality and innovative Italian manufacturer: illycaffè. Kartell is constantly looking to improve in terms of materials and sustainability and, in this case, safeguarding the planet means improving the circular economy via waste materials from coffee capsules. The recently released Re Chair, the latest recycled design from Antonio Citterio for Kartell, has today become the Special Ambassador of this project with illycaffè.

This is innovation to write home about. It is the first time that a genuine designer product has been produced from coffee capsule waste. A black variant made with the recycled capsules of Iperespresso illy, Re Chair is the first release in a project which will incorporate other products from the collection. “I am thrilled about this partnership with Kartell, a company with which we share the values of quality and sustainability,” stated Andrea Illy, the president of illycaffè. “As a B Corp we apply a regenerative model which pursues wellbeing via circularity and the regeneration of the biosphere. Re Chair is the perfect synthesis of this model.”

This ambitious project took two years to obtain the quality standards and the necessary mechanics for producinf a chair from the coffee capsule waste. The collaboration with illycaffè was not simply based on the supply of recycling, “but embodies a new circular economy management process between two outstanding companies,” said Claudio Luti, the president of Kartell. The plastic components of the Iperespresso capsule arrive at illycaffè’s production line and undergo preliminary processing before being filled with coffee. This high-precision drilling allows for the release of coffee and the assembly of the single components of the capsule. During this automatized process, the capsules which contain faulty drilling or incorrect packaging are discarded. These “defective” capsules get turned into a secondary material thanks to Kartell’s new project. Kartell regenerates the ground plastic material and transforms the capsule into a new elegant, innovative and sustainable designer project.

The last thing to do is sit down and enjoy your coffee break.



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