Sea to Chair

Bureo co-founders Kevin Ahearn, Ben Kneppers, and David Stover were inspired to help reduce the waste they saw building up in the ocean and decided to combine their commitment to sustainability with their love for skateboarding. The result was Bureo, the first company to make skateboards from recycled fishing nets. Focused on transforming fishing nets into cool, tangible, reusable products, many of Bureo’s core values and goals align with our own at Fair Harbor. Taking the streets and now the office, Bureo is set to launch a new desk chair purely made from recycled fishing nets.

Bureo’s overall objective is to prevent harmful materials from entering the ocean, thus protecting wildlife and supporting local fishing communities through financial incentives. The company collects and recycles plastic fishing nets (10% of the ocean’s plastic pollution) and then transforms it into pellets that can be used to create quality sustainable products. To date this year, Bureo has collected over 180,000 lbs of discarded fishing nets. With 640,000 tons of fishing nets entering the ocean each year, like us, they are working to significantly reduce ocean pollution.

Their recycling program, “Net+Positiva,” facilitates waste disposal points for plastic fishing nets and educates Chile’s youth population about working toward cleaner oceans. Co-founder, Ben Kneppers, is a Cape Cod native and has relocated to Chile in order to oversee net-collection efforts and work directly with local NGO's to implement sustainable projects. From the largest fishing companies to the smallest artisanal fishing syndicates, Bureo works with everyone to reduce fishing net waste.

After collection, the nets are washed and prepared for a mechanical recycling process, where they are shredded, melted, and cut into small recycled pellets. These pellets are then injected into steel molds to form Bureo products: skateboards, sunglasses, and now, a desk chair.

Bureo recently partnered with Humanscale, which is considered the premier designer of sustainable ergonomic seating and tools for the workplace. The idea is to align Bureo’s NetPlus recycled materials with Humanscale’s simple and functional design in an effort to expand solutions for the discarded fishing nets. While the chair has not yet officially been released, it will provide a sustainable option for corporate america to help reduce the environmental impact of globalization and provide the opportunity for firms to make a conscious decision to opt for Bureo’s product in lieu of the plentiful plastic options available. We will definitely be picking up a couple for Fair Harbor Headquarters!

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Sea's the day!
Written by: Clark Perkins

caroline danehy