Sustainability at Vitra: Environmental protection meets passion for design


Sustainability is not just a trend or a statement – it is here to stay and to act on. This is something that Vitra is also clear about. It is for this reason that the Swiss brand has addressed and analysed this complex issue, and ultimately come up with its own interpretation. This has resulted in the following various aspects of sustainability, which have been incorporated into the company’s objectives:


  • Environmental footprint: Vitra will be net-positive by 2030.
  • Circular economy: By 2030, Vitra will see every product through its entire life cycle, right through to recycling and disposal.
  • Transparency: By 2030, customers will have access to detailed information on the manufacturing process and Vitra’s production and trade partners for every Vitra product when making a purchase decision.


Vitra also favours sustainable materials and sustainable and modern production processes. The iconic Vitra Eames Plastic Chairs by Ray and Charles Eames is now also manufactured in line with this principle – since 1 January 2024, its seat shell has been made from recycled post-consumer plastic. What makes this recycled material so special is the fact that it is obtained from plastics put out for recycling in yellow bags by German households in the local vicinity of the production site. This means that the material of the Eames Plastic Chair RE is not only sustainable in itself, but is also produced sustainably. As a result, Vitra saves energy during production and releases fewer climate-damaging emissions. The Swiss brand is thus demonstrating its integrity with regard to its sustainability goals and is also adapting its timeless designs to the demands of the modern world. Vitra’s products thus not only outlast entire eras in terms of their classic design, but also in terms of their longevity and their production in line with the principles of a circular economy.




A design classic through the ages


The Eames Plastic Chair was created by renowned designer duo Ray and Charles Eames and is one of the most famous design classics. It has been inspiring design lovers for decades and is highly recognisable. The first version of the design icon was made of fibreglass, until it was eventually replaced by the thermoplastic polypropylene in the 1990s. The production of the Eames Plastic Chair has therefore always been orientated towards modern requirements and innovations and, from 2024, will be fully committed to the idea of sustainable furniture design.

The “Shell Chair” was made of fibreglass. As the manufacturing process could be harmful to health, the production of fibreglass shells was soon discontinued.

The Eames Plastic Chair is now made of polypropylene.

The Eames Plastic Chair is also made of fibreglass again – using a modern process. The Eames Fibreglass Chairs have also been available alongside the Eames Plastic Chairs ever since.

Instead of primary plastic, post-consumer plastic is now used in the production of the Eames Plastic Chair, which comes from German household recycling and is in keeping with the sustainability trend.

The Eames Plastic Chair RE: A sustainable icon


As part of Vitra’s sustainability campaign, the Eames Plastic Chair has been made from recycled post-consumer plastic in all 14 colours since 2024. But don’t worry: its iconic shape and wide range of colours remain unchanged. Thanks to its own expertise in collaboration with the production site, Vitra has managed to accurately reproduce the existing colour variants despite the speckles caused by the use of recycled material. Only the colours green, yellow and white deviate from the previous colouring in tiny nuances. Every time you order, you are therefore still getting a timeless design classic while also doing your bit to protect the environment.

With its Eames Plastic Chairs, Vitra once again proves that modernity, extravagance and longevity are not mutually exclusive when it comes to sustainable designer furniture. In fact, Vitra’s sustainable approach is proof that the brand has its finger on the pulse, understands the needs of its customers and endeavours to meet them.

Bring Vitra’s sustainability vision into your home with a new Eames Plastic Chair RE. Enjoy the vibrant colours and iconic designs in your rooms and help Vitra to promote the idea of sustainable furniture even further.

Questions and answers about the Eames Plastic Chair RE

What does EPC RE stand for?


EPC stands for Eames Plastic Chair. The abbreviation RE indicates that this piece of furniture is made from recycled materials that are put out for recycling in yellow bags by German households. This makes the Eames Chair made from RE material one of many interior design pieces that Vitra has produced and launched on the market using recycled materials.

What is so special about the recycled material that Vitra uses for the Eames Plastic Chair RE?


The post-consumer plastic that Vitra uses for the new Eames Plastic Chairs RE is not only sustainable in itself, but also in the way it is processed, thus making the entire seat shell manufacturing process sustainable. This is because the material comes from the plastics put out for recycling in yellow bags by German households in the local vicinity of the production facility, resulting in a sustainable and regional material. On the one hand, this meets Vitra’s stringent quality standards in terms of sustainability and functionality. On the other hand, using this regional, recycled material causes significantly fewer climate-damaging emissions and reduces energy consumption.

In which colours is the relaunched, sustainable Eames Plastic Chair available?


The new, sustainable Eames Plastic Chair RE from Vitra is available in 14 colours. The finish now features tiny speckles. These are caused by the recycled material and give each chair a more natural and unique aesthetic. The colour nuances can therefore differ slightly between the colour batches. Thanks to its vast experience, however, Vitra has managed to reproduce the existing colours of almost all Eames Chairs identically in the new seat shells made from recycled material. Only green, yellow and white show the smallest of deviations. The new material makes every Eames Plastic Chair RE a special, sustainable and stylish unique piece.

Where can I buy the new Eames Plastic Chair RE?


You will find the new Vitra Eames Plastic Chair RE in our AmbienteDirect online shop, where you can choose between different colours and collections. Choose a Vitra Side Chair or Armchair made from sustainable post-consumer plastic.

shop now