Why did Connubia decide to offer a product where sustainability is at the core of the project, the design, and comfort?

Calligaris Group & Connubia are committed to making a difference on the issue of sustainability.  

Last year the Greenbow programme was launched to structure and organise the company's activities dedicated to this theme by acting on two fronts: that of the product, creating green furnishings made from natural and recycled materials and thinking about circularity, and that of the Company system, for a sustainable approach to the development, production and distribution of products. 

Quote our Greenbow programme: 

"We don't promise you 100% green in everything right away, but we certainly promise 100% commitment and transparency to make our contribution to a sustainable future".

What motivated you, and what assessments did you make to reach this point?

The design has new responsibilities in the increasingly complex world we live in, and the sustainability of projects through research of materials plays a fundamental role in design. 

Greenbow, our sustainable agenda, represents our plan and long-term commitment to develop, produce and distribute environmentally sustainable products by integrating them into a business system that aims to reduce the environmental impact we all have on the planet, thus contributing to the UN's 2030 Agenda.

How long have you been implementing the idea of embracing sustainability and making a coherent product?

The Connubia brand was founded in 2020 and immediately embraced the theme of sustainability and environmental commitment. We currently have more than 60 "I am green" models in our range, reflecting the environmental standards we have set.

These are now mandatory themes that we require from designers to propose a project, an idea, a product.

Can you tell us the story of the product? 

The project stems from the idea of creating an upholstered armchair where every material used, including the cover, internal structure, and packaging is the result of post-consumer recycled materials.

This idea led to a long search for materials that would guarantee a certified industrial supply chain while maintaining an "entry premium" price standard for the end consumer.    



Connubia 1 Connubia 1

What is the product, who is the designer? 

The "Reef" armchair, designed by Michele Menescardi, marks a new design awareness that has seen the company and designer work side by side to find innovative solutions to create sustainable and responsible production.  

Its lines design a timeless yet highly contemporary product, where each element has been designed with an eco-sustainable and circular perspective, a perfect expression of Connubia's "Greenbow" philosophy.

How was the project designed, and how did you subsequently search for materials and suppliers?

We started with an actual prototype made from non-sustainable virgin materials, as with any project. Once approved for comfort, functionality and aesthetics, we set about replacing every single component with different certified post-consumer recycled materials, choosing those that best met the set standards.

Was the search simple, somewhat facilitated by public opinion sharing increasingly popular messages and keywords, or was researching challenging? 

Unfortunately, searching for new recycled materials is always difficult for several reasons. First, it is necessary to find producers who can guarantee uniformity, quantity and quality of material for industrial use. Many of them are small start-ups that cannot ensure the large numbers required by industry. Another difficulty is finding materials that guarantee an aesthetic equal to "new". Due to recycled material, consumers are not yet ready to accept minor defects or aesthetic non-uniformity. Last, the cost factor of recycled or sustainable materials is the cost factor, which is usually very different from the values of conventionally manufactured products.

Can you tell us about the material development process, the selection of materials for both the upholstery and the interior, for the body and other parts? 

The search for materials was undoubtedly a demanding challenge, but it was equally challenging to test the materials to exceed the quality standards of the furniture world. 

But the innovation also lies and above all in the fabric with which "Reef" is upholstered. Created entirely from post-consumer recycled plastic, from the plastic debris floating in our seas and from plastic bottles destined for landfills, this particular upholstery was developed with a community that combats marine pollution by cleaning up plastic. The internal structure is made of wood from FSC-certified forests, while the padding comes from recycled polyurethanes from discarded mattresses and recycled polyester post-consumer containers.  

More than 100 plastic bottles recovered from the sea are used for each "Reef" produced, making a concrete contribution to the mission of cleaning up the earth and the oceans. Sustainability was also a priority in creating the packaging, using only recycled cardboard with low environmental impact printing.

Are you satisfied with the work done and the result?  

We are delighted with the result achieved in aesthetics and sustainability. "Reef" is a tiny drop in the mission of cleaning up both the earth and its oceans, and this makes us proud to have contributed to doing so. 

Connubia 2
Connubia 2
Connubia 3
Connubia 3
Connubia 4
Connubia 4