Every year 8 million tons of plastic trash ends up in the ocean. 46% of this plastic is from the fishing industry. The pollution of the ocean is a major problem harming ocean life and contributing to the climate crisis. In Wehlers we do not believe in the trash, we believe in resources. To clean up the ocean, we decided to make a chair. A chair that would benefit the ocean by recycling the plastic that is found there.
To make the R.U.M. Chair, we use granulated plastic collected from the ocean. The plastic is collected by NGOs and then granulated by our partner Plastix in Lemvig, Denmark. This way the plastic can be molded into parts like seat, feet, and back for the chair. This is done by our partner Letbæk, and is made by a technology where the plastic imitates the ocean waves and streams into its new shape
As the making of the chair is thought out through a sustainable approach so is the afterlife of the chair. Besides the plastic components, the chair is made out of iron legs and screws by our partner BS STEEL. All components are made to be sampled and taken apart easily. This makes it possible to repair or recycle each individual part of the chair.
We use a danish logistics company which helps us to deliver and take back the chairs for maintenance, repairs or recycle.
We take in your old chairs to be reused or resold. And when the life of the chair is over one day, it can be taken apart and the different components will have a chance to be recycled. But to make sure the chair will have an afterlife will you help us close the loop?
A DETAILED VIEW
For many years the logic of a linear economy has been the main way of producing new products. This follows a take-make-dispose approach, meaning that the raw materials are collected, then transformed into products which are used until they are finally discarded as waste contributing to destabilizing our planet’s ecosystem.
Wehlers is trying to challenge this way of thinking (Classic Linear Economy System) by doing something different. Our approach is a Circular Economy System where once the raw materials enter the Wehlers Eco-System they will never leave the loop.
In a Circular Economy, we close the cycles of all these raw materials. Closing these cycles requires much more than just recycling. It requires changes in the way value is created and preserved, and how the product is made more sustainable, by adopting a circular business model. By adding our green route, we make sure that after serving their purpose our chairs are coming back to be recycled, repaired, or re-used and this way avoiding it being discarded as waste into the ocean again.
This way we can repurpose the materials into new chairs making sure they will have a continuous lifespan. This is done by re-using the same materials over and over again.
Throughout the model, there are several stops where the plastic and metal parts are processed for building the different pieces of the chair. The stations indicate every stakeholder involved in our value chain from collecting the fishing nets to the finished product getting out to the customer. We have a close and trustful relationship with our suppliers, and this is shown in the way that we only work with suppliers who share the same values as us which are working towards a more sustainable future.