We at Inhabitat are huge supporters of the trash-to-treasure approach to design. Using repurposed, discarded, and recycled materials is not only eco-friendly and gives new life to seemingly useless material, but provides an interesting critique on modern consumer-based culture and individual value systems (see our recent Reclaiming Design panel at HauteGREEN). In that spirit, here are our five favorite chairs made from trash, reused materials, and other such refuse.

A La Lata Lazy Chair, A La Lata, recycled can chair, recyclable chair, Carlos Alberto Montana Hoyos, Aluminum pulltab chair

1. A LA LATA LOUNGER by Carlos Alberto Montana Hoyos
Carlos Alberto Montana Hoyos’ sleekly styled lounge chair is a feat of both recycling and hand-crafted construction. Meticulously assembled using 1739 recycled aluminum can tabs, Hoyos’ unique lounge chair incorporates traditional handicraft techniques with cutting-edge contemporary design.

roughly drawn rd4 codha hautegreen 2007 chair recycled plastic furniture

2. RD4 CHAIR by Richard G. Liddle/Cohda Designs
Combining green design sensibility and the freehand aesthetic of an architect’s sketch (RD stands for ‘roughly drawn’), Richard G. Liddle’s magnificent RD4 Chair is made from 100% wasted plastic, which yields a very comfortable seat in a super-cool form.

Ryan Frank, Hackney Shelves, Hackney Shelf, 100% Design, plastic bag chair

While most of us green-minded consumers have hopefully switched to reusable shopping bags by now, plastic shopping bags continue to be a huge source of waste. But Ryan Frank’s Inkuku chair (which means “chicken” in Zulu), turns these pesky bags into design material using a traditional African craft technique. The result is a very brightly colored (and especially green) seat.

Emily Pilloton, Human Nest, Scrap Chair, Swarf Lamps, Scrap Fabric Chair

4. HUMAN NEST CHAIR by Emily Pilloton
One of the eye-catching green pieces from HauteGREEN 2006, Emily Pilloton’s Human Nest chair takes bird-based construction to a comfy and oh-so-eco-friendly level- the bowl shaped chair is hand woven and tied using a bamboo frame and dozens of yards of scrap fabric.

Uhuru Stoolen, Uhuru Recycled Scrap Stoolen, TOP 5 CHAIRS MADE FROM TRASH, Top five ways to sit on trash, Top 5 recycled chairs, sustainable design, green chair design

One of our BKLYN Design favorites, this darling little stool by Uhuru is constructed from off-cut scrap wood pieces, all held in place using a recycled bike wheel. We love its tongue-in-cheek resemblance to a tree-stump, and love that the wood is recycled even more.