05/28/2024 • 3 min read

Tailored Comfort Responsibly Made

Crafting sustainable comfort for office lounge chairs

by Haworth, Inc.

As work environments become more flexible and collaborative, the need for ancillary products like lounge seating is increasing. Spaces need to balance functional activities and sensory experiences that inspire creativity and support social connections. When we feel engaged and connected to our work, we are happier and more motivated to perform our best.

Innovative Design Approach

Haworth Cardigan lounge chair exemplifies the pillars behind our collaborative product design approach: global innovation, sustainably made. Created in partnership with Patricia Urquiola, it was designed to support ancillary spaces with a visually inspiring, light-scale form that delivers unparalleled comfort. Its aesthetically striking design blends creativity and innovation for a simple, efficient design concept. Haworth Cardigan communicates extreme comfort and lightness at first sight in a spatial icon.

Haworth Cardigan was an occasion to do a product with simplicity—to find a way to create products without any kind of leftovers in the way they are produced.

Patricia Urquiola

Architect & Designer

Sustainable Design and Material Innovation

Taking its name from a form-fitting cardigan sweater, Haworth Cardigan is reminiscent of how knitwear adapts to the body’s curves. The digital knit textile elegantly accentuates the silhouette of the chair. Innovation was key to the development process, using knit-to-fit technology: Fabric cuts are no longer necessary, creating zero waste—just like a 3D printed product, made to order. The digital knit back and cushion cover are produced from 100% recycled PET, keeping 91 bottles per chair out of landfills.

Comfort and Versatility in Design

Haworth Cardigan's malleable seat back supports different postures and a variety of uses—in a relaxed cocoon-like seating experience for casual interactions or restorative individual activities. The pliable “ribs” on the back add visual interest while creating structure and support where needed. The digital knit textile offers a soft, warm feel with variability in texture and color created by the ripples of ribs.

Advancing Circular Economy

Product designs that consider environmental, social, and economic factors support a circular economy aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. Optimizing resource use and minimizing the impact of buildings, packaging, manufacturing, and transportation results in product solutions with smaller carbon footprints and healthier work environments.

Reflecting Collective Values and Future Office Needs

Haworth worked closely with Patricia Urquiola to create a design that drives circularity and reflects our shared value of making the world better—reducing Haworth Cardigan's materials, weight, and cost compared to a classic lounge chair. Haworth Cardigan is also our first lounge chair to eliminate glues—instead, focusing on mechanical fasteners and modularity. This allows for easy disassembly and material separation for reuse and recycling when the chair is no longer needed. Even the seat cushion is made from a more sustainable alternative, with the use of biomass-balanced foam that entirely avoids the use of fossil fuel sources, resulting in an 80% reduction in CO2.

Haworth Cardigan was specifically designed to meet the evolving needs of the future office. It’s like a comfortable nest—a cocoon that draws people in to relax and restore. It’s so lightweight, anyone can easily slide it over to their favorite corner. The flexible seat back accommodates various postures and activities, from casual interactions with colleagues to focused work sessions. Haworth Cardigan seamlessly adapts to Work from Anywhere applications—from a restorative respite to the conviviality of spaces where people gather.

We’re Working to Make the World Better

Find out more about Haworth’s commitment to sustainability and a circular economy in our latest Corporate Social Responsibility report.


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