According to Britain's Birmingham City University, over 810,000 office chairs are disposed of annually in the UK alone. Concerned by that waste, Birmingham product design student Thomas Howell-Jones came up with a way to help keep them out of the landfill – he's using their back rests to make hard-shell backpacks.
Known as Rest, the backpack is reportedly durable, waterproof and impact-resistant, plus it can also be used as a bicycle pannier. Howell-Jones first got the idea after dismantling a variety of discarded office chairs, and assessing the possible uses of the different parts.
"Realizing that a backpack was possible from office chair waste was the turning point for the project," he says. "The process from realization to outcome was very enjoyable and I now look forward to developing the range."
The Rest backpack recently won an award at the RSA (Royal Society of Arts) Student Designs Awards. Thomas, meanwhile, is currently looking into other waste materials – such as bicycle inner tubes – that could likewise be converted into usable products.
Source: Birmingham City University