Kuskoa Bi: the first chair on the market to be manufactured in bioplastic

Kuskoa Bi

The comfortable and generously-sized Kuskoa Bi is the first chair on the market to be manufactured in bioplastic. Its particularly enveloping shell, cut out in such a way as to optimize back and arm support, is delicately placed on a solid wood trestle. The designer is Jean Louis Iratzoki. The manufacturer is Alki, a French company.

Its path started in 1981 in a small village in the northern Basque Country, in Itsasu. In a time of economic difficulties a group of five friends founded a small chair factory that they named Alki,  “which means chair in Basque”,  with the aim of creating jobs in a weakly industrialised region. The cooperative status was the most suitable to our values which are an essential part of our day-to-day existence.

Bioplastic is a polymer with similar characteristics and properties to plastics made from non-renewable fossil fuels. It can be injected, extruded, and thermoformed, but it is made from 100% plant-based renewable resources such as beets, corn starch, and sugar cane. As a result, it is fully recyclable and its organic properties mean that, when subjected to an industrial process, it is biodegradable. A version of the chair is also available covered in a wool-based upholstery.

Kuskoa Bi was presented at Maison&Objet last January in Paris. “The production of plastic not only depletes the world’s diminishing fossil resources, it is also a pollutant that harms the environment and is therefore contrary to Alki’s fundamental principles on sustainable development” the designer Iratzoki said.

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