Green design: The Mirra chair
The Herman Miller Mirra office chair has a lot of good things going for it:
- It is made of 42% recycled materials
- It is made with no PVC (read about PVC problems here)
- It is 96% recyclable
- It is Greenguard-certified and may qualify for LEED credits
It’s also $600 for the basic model, which leads one to ask, “Is it worth it?”
The philosophy behind the Mirra design is simple: You spend 10 hours a day in your office chair—an ultra-comfortable chair will improve your mood, improving your health, and you’ll produce more and better work. Theoretically, the chair will pay for itself in morale and productivity.
And you’re paying for some fancy design: “The one-piece, frameless backrest is a polymer pierced with 567 geometric shapes to create three flex zones. Each zone provides an appropriate level of flexibility for the right ergonomic support and natural adjustment.”
The Mirra chair also comes with a 12-year warranty. If you own the chair for 12 years, and don’t have to pay for any repairs, you’re spending around $50 a year.
A larger question: If something is built well, and made to last, and can be recycled at the end of its life, should you be willing to pay more for it? It’s an interesting question. Manufacturing green, like buying green, often demands a high cost of entry. But if you get something tangible back—like greater productivity for the Mirra chair owner or stronger brand loyalty for the company making green manufacturing choices—perhaps that changes everything.