Most companies’ obligation towards their products ends as soon as they are sold, but Giroflex is different. The Switzerland-based office-chair specialist doesn’t just take responsibility for its materials when they’re not longer needed—they dissemble and then actively reutilize them to make more chairs. So the company doesn’t just provide a feel-good service by taking back their chairs at end-of-life, they practically insist on it, since it’s part of the lifecycle of the seats.
That materials reuse is one aspect of what makes their three bestselling chairs, (the 313, the 353 and the 656) Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Silver level, but it’s not the whole story. The attention to nitty-gritty details of sustainability—from 50% reduction in water use during manufacturing, to elimination of toxic adhesives—is also evident in the manufacture of the chair. Since the company is fully integrated, they’re able to apply their metal coatings, produce foam and upholstery, and even make their own plastic molding all in-house. And that means they can oversee that those items are made following Cradle to Cradle Certification standards for better human and environmental health.
Giroflex has sold millions of chairs in the 144 years it has been in business, both due to it’s reputation for quality and because it’s a pioneer when it comes to ergonomic research for office seating. The ergonomics experts at Giroflex have crafted chairs that accompany “every move, every load change, every movement through the office—for years,” according to their website. Being able to actively—and comfortably—use a product for it’s lifespan is an important part of being actively sustainable.
Office chairs are business cards for a company—a way of showing what you are about—so great aesthetic design is also at the forefront, and Giroflex chairs come in neutral and vibrant color options. The company has consistently won awards for their chairs’ design, including the prestigious Red Dot design award.
The use phase matters too, also contributing to the chair’s certification, as well as the company’s core identity as a maker of high-quality office furniture.
These office chairs are designed to stay looking gorgeous: Besides creating seating that causes less stress and strain on their users’ bodies, Giroflex’s chairs are super-durable and repairable, and easy to clean, so they won’t ever feel or look shabby.
Giroflex also makes parts available, and provides a repair and cleaning services if a chair needs help—so it can be returned to use quickly. They call this “first-class until reuse.”
To that end, Giroflex office chairs come with a 5-year warranty on the construction, materials and workmanship of the chairs. And when they do reach end of life, “We do everything to get our products back at the end of use. We need those materials for new production,” says Renato Hirrlinger, COO of Giroflex and the CFO, René Grübel adds: “our future materials are warehoused at our current customers, when we will get them back, it will pay off financially. We needed to change our business model.”