Form and Function

My new Mirra

After our trip to Paris and EuroCabooseConf I brought home my new office chair, a Herman Miller Mirra. I’ve been looking for a good chair for quite a while, but have been postponing the purchase because of the low availability. In Finland you basically have to travel to Helsinki if you have to test drive anything more obscure than a very basic office chair.

After giving a workshop in Helsinki last week I finally took the plunge and went to visit the only HM representative in Finland. And boy was I sold.

Mirra has been on the top of my list for several reasons:

  • It is a lot easier to adjust than Aeron and fits most people by default.
  • It costs only about 2/3 of the price of Aeron (or Freedom Chair, which has even worse sales network in Finland).
  • It is, according to Bill McDonough (the author of Cradle to Cradle), “the most advanced and thorough application of Cradle-to-Cradle principles a furniture maker has ever brought to the market.”

After testing the chair the deal was pretty much done. Mirra is plain and simple the best chair I’ve ever used. It offers just the right amount of support and free movement you’ll need if you have to spend hours each day sitting in one place.

New chair

But Mirra is not just a great chair. By buying it I also felt like doing the right thing. The initial four aspects we had when building dotherightthing.com were customer, community, employees and environment. I feel that Herman Miller takes all these four aspects into account in its business, maybe better than any other company.

Good things for me as a customer:

  • I got the best chair I’ve ever used.
  • Mirra is an extremely low-emitting product, meeting the GREENGUARD^TM^ standards. This results in better indoor air quality.
  • Mirra is of really high quality (“Number One design and environmental criteria: Durability.”) and equipped with a 12-year warranty, work included.

Good things for the environment in general (some highlights from the Mirra Environmental Product Summary):

  • The Mirra chair is up to 96 percent recyclable at the end of its useful life.
  • Mirra is comprised of 42 percent recycled materials.
  • Every material has been scrutinized down to the molecular level.
  • Steel components can be segregated and returned to the recycling stream as a technical nutrient.
  • No polyvinyl chloride (PVC) used; thermoplastic elastimer is used for arm skin.
  • Molded polymer back can be recycled up to 25 times.

New chair

  • …and much more, see the summary for details. Following the Cradle to Cradle approach, Mirra is designed from the ground-up not to be less bad for the environment, but rather eliminate the bad side effects.

Good things for the environment, employees and the local community around the factory:

“The GreenHouse” provides an urbane, pleasant environment for all employees; copious fresh air and sunlight; easy access between administrative and manufacturing staff; and natural features such as wetlands and swales that purify storm water run-off and provide habitat for local birds, flowers, and grasses. The result: a measured increase in productivity, a measured increase in the degree of job satisfaction, and a measured array of positive social and ecological impacts. In fact, the building won Business Week’s first “Good Design is Good Business” award for its documented impacts on the top and bottom line.

New chair

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