‘Adopting circular principles to create clever products for a wide range of clients’

‘Adopting circular principles to create clever products for a wide range of clients’

THE GREAT EIGHT OF CE

‘THE GREAT 8 OF CE’ is a blog series in which we ask Gispen employees eight questions about the circular economy. From our managing director to our factory workers, from the receptionist to the Support Manager. Every department is paid a visit, going through all layers of the origination. Transparency is vital for making the circular economy a success, and for this reason we are showing you how we are transitioning towards fully circular entrepreneurship.

The professional’s thoughts

When we furnished our home back in the nineties, you simply did not discuss things such as a circular economy or the environment. But as it turned out, we did have an expensive taste which is really a good thing when it comes to CE. Quality simply lasts longer. I see this philosophy both at Gispen and at home, where it holds true for all the brands we purchased such as Gelderland, Auping and Bulthaup. Adopting circular principles to create clever products for a wide range of clients.’

Goos Vollema Senior Product Manager

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What is the definition of CE in your opinion?

When I think of CE, I think of using the right materials when manufacturing a product; materials that can be reused again and again. This automatically leads to quality products, and quality will last and pay for itself in the end. We adopt circular principles to create clever products for a wide range of clients; products for a well-suited work environment.

What does the circular economy mean to you?

An economy in which we don’t exhaust our planet of all its resources, but reuse what we already have. Where something new arises from things that end. You either refurbish a product or adapt it to fulfil a different purpose. The circular economy should mainly be considered an opportunity, allowing us to develop new insights, ideas and products for a better and more sustainable world for our children and grandchildren.

How do you apply this philosophy at home?

I opt for quality products that can be repaired at component level. This will make you buy fewer products, use fewer raw materials and thereby limit the strain on the environment. Take our sofa, for example, which is a Gelderland, type 4800, a true designer classic. We have had it reupholstered twice, the frame and springs are still in good shape. You can let yourself be tempted by a shiny new product for a bargain price, but a quality item will remain a quality item long after you have forgotten about the price! And like so many others, we sort our waste and dispose of our plastic separately. We also keep our paper waste and bottles separated from the rest of the household waste.

Why are you engaged in this at home?

When we furnished our home back in the nineties, you simply did not discuss things such as a circular economy or the environment. But as it turned out, we did have an expensive taste which is really a good thing when it comes to CE. Quality simply lasts longer. I see this philosophy both at Gispen and at home, where it holds true for all the brands we purchased such as Gelderland, Auping and Bulthaup.

Circulaire economie | Gispen

Are you noticing that Gispen is in a transition toward a circular economy?

Yes, definitely. I have been lucky to experience many circular projects. Great projects such as Alliander in Duiven, which I was given tours around. Projects that aren’t just pipe dreams, but feature realistic and functional interiors that have been furnished in a circular way. Gispen’s transition toward a CE-oriented business model has, of course, required a lot of careful deliberation, as well as actions that are not directly linked to the furnishing of offices. It involves many other processes that take place behind the scenes.

Alliander Duiven | Gispen

Which country/company/initiative serves as an inspiration to you?

That’s an easy one! Herman Miller and his Aeron office chair. This chair is a great example of an iconic design, deriving from 1994, surprisingly. The Aeron features quality materials, a strong construction and comfort, which is why it is still a best seller today. Over 5 million Aeron office chairs have been sold since it came to market. The Aeron was redesigned, but its characteristic shape, quality and use of materials were kept intact. The renewed chair looks almost identical, but has been mechanically updated. Sustainability is easily found in quality materials and design.

What is the best possible circular service for our clients?

Our full furnishing service, which is based on our Life at Work vision, that we provide our clients with. Our very own furnishing philosophy. Where we apply products that are as circular as possible, which we offer in a pay-per-use construction and where our client is fully unburdened for the entire lifespan of the interior.

Please share your CE success story

Being part of a Gispen team that has developed a completely new furniture programme: CIMO. When we started the project, we set the bar high for ourselves. The product had to become the perfect example of a circular workstation. I think this is Gispen at its best. And again: not a pipe dream, but a fully circular furniture programme. Experienced by users as a pleasant workstation that adjusts from a seated to a standing position in under 15 seconds. I have tried it for myself and have even timed it. From 72 to 112 cm in 15 seconds! CIMO is both a circular and modular product – hence the name. Yes, I believe this is a true success story.


Thank you, Goos. To whom do you pass on ‘THE GREAT EIGHT OF CE’?

I would like to pass on the baton to my colleague and Product Manager Ramon.

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