Raised in California with a love and concern for the environment, Gregg Buchbinder’s dream is to protect and preserve our environment. In 1998 Buchbinder saw the potential in Emeco, a down-at-the heels military supplier in Hanover, Pennsylvania. As Buchbinder tells it, “The company was about to go into bankruptcy. A crew of dispirited craftsmen remained, waiting for the day when the plant would close. But I saw good bones, like when you walk through a house that is dilapidated, but you know you could make it into something beautiful. And I saw heart, history and everything I had grown up with; simple purposeful design, rock solid craftsmanship and the use of recycled materials made into something that was made to last. I saw all this in one chair – The Navy Chair.” Buchbinder bought Emeco and over the years has collaborated with the world’s best designers and architects to transform Emeco from a U.S. Military supplier into a top furniture design brand.
A chance meeting sparked Buchbinder’s collaboration with renowned French designer Philippe Starck, and together Buchbinder and Starck created many Emeco collections. Some of the other architects and designers Buchbinder has collaborated with include Frank Gehry, Norman Foster, Ettore Sottsass, Jean Nouvel, Nendo and Jasper Morrison. In 2010 Emeco and Coca-Cola collaborated to create the 111 Navy Chair made of recycled plastic bottles. Under Buchbinder’s leadership, Emeco remains focused on making chairs in America, using sustainably sourced reclaimed, recycled, and repurposed materials, and always making products that are made to last.