Johan Lindstén and Dan Johanson

At Johanson we meet designer Johan Lindstén, who is unveiling Pelican, the first Swedish chair to carry the EU Ecolabel, at Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, and Dan Johanson, one of the two brothers who own the company.

Dan, what does Stockholm Furniture Fair mean to Johanson?

“We’ve been here very year that I’ve been working with the company. The fair is a milestone and a goal that we focus on in terms of everything from product development to marketing material. Stockholm Furniture Fair lies at the heart of our business, with so much revolving around it, and this is where we find out the response to our products. It’s also the one time of the year when the whole sales team and our international representatives assemble and get to talk to designers and others.”

Johan, what is the status of Scandinavian design in the world today?

“Our design has an excellent reputation. We’re riding a wave that actually stretches back to the 1920s. Being able to say that we come from one of the Scandinavian countries lends us a certain legitimacy. We have a legacy to live up to!”

The fair is a great occasion to present new products. Johan, you have designed the Pelican chair for Johanson. Tell us about it!

“It all came out of a demand from our customers for a plastic chair that could meet environmental criteria. If you’re going to make a plastic chair in 2020, it has to have a good reason to exist. The Pelican is made from 100% recycled plastic.”

“The reactions have been nothing but positive,” adds Dan. “Particularly when they see that it’s ecolabelled.”

How do you work generally on sustainability and recycling?

“It’s one of the core issues in everything from product development to how we operate as a company. We’ve entered into partnership with a young company in Lund to look at finding models for communicating these issues. Naturally, we want our furniture, which we manufacture ourselves in Markaryd in southern Sweden, to last as long as possible and we are building simplicity into the design so that worn or broken components can be repaired and replaced. Imagine if all products could last twice as long!”

“Right at the beginning of the design process, we start thinking about new, more eco-friendly solutions,” continues Johan.

“Showing that you care about sustainability and the environment is going to be a crucial issue in the future. It feels as if here in Sweden we’re leading the field in this area.”