The ground-breaking DuraOcean® from LifestyleGarden®, the world’s first commercially available range of outdoor furniture made from nets, ropes and plastic waste recovered from the world’s oceans, triumphed over stiff competition to win the coveted Best New Product award at SOLEX 2019.
Judges at SOLEX (NEC Birmingham, 9th – 11th July) described the new DuraOcean® range, which sets the benchmark for sustainable usage of materials and design, as the “clear winner”. They praised parent company ScanCom for bringing to market a commercially viable ‘ocean plastic’ product at a time when tackling plastic waste is at the top of the agenda for the UK’s growing band of environmentally-conscious consumers.
The Best New Product Award was presented by Mark Osborne, chairman of the Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association (LOFA), on the opening day of SOLEX. New products were apprised by expert judging team Iain Wylie, Chief Executive of the Garden Centre Association, and Chris Roberts, chairman of destination retail group Van Hage Garden Centres.
Van Hage’s Chris Roberts said: “The DuraOcean® is a fantastic concept and was a clear winner by miles. The process and investment that’s gone into retrieving fishing nets and plastic waste from the ocean and transforming it into a recycled garden furniture product was clearly evident. Ocean plastic is a major environmental issue that has been highlighted by Sir David Attenborough. The DuraOcean®’s point-of-sale material and explanation of how the plastic recovery process works, serves to highlight an excellent product.
“I believe that the DuraOcean® presents a massive opportunity for sales in the retail sector, and also within the contract sector for chairs in cafes and restaurants, for example. It provides businesses with an opportunity to explain to the public that they’re being proactive by taking steps to improve the environment. There is no other product at the show that offers this opportunity,” Chris explained.
The Best New Product Award was collected by ScanCom International CEO Stig Maasbol, who said: “It is truly a great honour to win. It also shows that our whole sustainability story is coming out and reaching a broader audience, which is very important to us at LifestyleGarden® and ScanCom, as a company that is focused on ‘Doing Business the Right Way’. This award will increase awareness of what we’re doing as a sustainable business, throughout the whole company, and the DuraOcean® is a very important part of that story.”
Inbal Kahaner, the award-winning designer of the chair that brought DuraOcean to life, said: “As an industrial designer it’s a great privilege to play a role in protecting the environment and an honour to work for Scancom, a company that’s constantly striving to do business the right way and protect the planet. The combination of recycled material, innovative design and perfect sitting comfort is a huge achievement that will help consumers to purchase outdoor furniture at an affordable price, upgrading their living space with a fresh, modern design while caring for the environment. At Scancom, as individuals and manufacturers, we understand that protecting the planet and oceans for future generations is an obligation, not an option.”
Each DuraOcean® chair is made from 3.5kg of recovered ocean plastic, which has been transformed into a beautiful, robust and stylish piece of outdoor furniture. The award-winning product, born out of a significant period of research and development, directly addresses the global issue of ocean waste. With around 300 million tonnes of plastic waste created globally every year, and pollution killing more than 100,000 marine creatures, the DuraOcean® raises the sustainability bar by showcasing how waste can be salvaged from the world’s seas and recycled into the ultimate must-have outdoor living product. The eco-friendly range launched at SOLEX with a DuraOcean® bistro set, which features the Nassau FSC Eucalyptus table.
As well as hosting the official launch event for the DuraOcean® ranges, the SOLEX exhibition presented a unique opportunity to showcase LifestyleGarden®’s exclusive partnership with the Eden Project. With LifestyleGarden® and the Eden Project both driven by identical goals of promoting environmental responsibility and sustainability, retail buyers were introduced to LifestyleGarden®’s 2020 furniture ranges, which will be supported by Eden Project branding.
LifestyleGarden®’s high-impact display at SOLEX also featured the Eden Project’s exclusive designs and patterns, which will drive sales in the outdoor living category with the launch of add-on sales opportunities, including stylish cushions and deckchairs.
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