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DESIGN: LOLL’S GOT MILK
These eco-friendly pieces are made from repurposed milk jugs and can withstand Jackson Hole’s crazy climate. And they look good.
By Julie Kling
Milk jugs, skate parks, and Adirondack chairs have something in common: Loll Designs. The Duluth, Minnesota-based company initially repurposed milk jugs into Polyethylene sheets used for side panels in skate parks it designed and built. Somewhere along the way, Loll realized it could use the same sheets—which are ultradurable and withstand exposure to extreme elements—to make other stuff. They started with a cutting board. Today the company has switched entirely from skate parks to outdoor furniture. But they haven’t abandoned milk jugs.
About eight recycled jugs go into every pound of weight in a typical Loll chair. Its most popular chair, the Flat Standard Adirondack, weighs forty to fifty pounds; that’s 320 to 400 milk jugs.
With more than 450 skate parks under his belt, Loll Designs founder and CEO Greg Benson has confidence in his material and its ability to hold up in extreme weather. “It’s such a great material, we thought, ‘What smaller product could we make with this?’ ” Benson says.
“So we started making cutting boards. Then we started making chairs. We really launched a brand. With the resurgence in the modern aesthetic, the green movement, made in the USA, all those things, our timing was just good, and I think there was some luck.”
By combining the skate-proof material with a sleek design, Benson, his brother, and another partner in Loll found their seat at the outdoor furniture table. “I really, truly wanted to make an iconic chair. There is something romantic about the Adirondack chair. But I wanted to make it unique.”
The Flat Adirondack chairs and dozens of other designs, including a new Lollygagger Collection of low-to-the-ground lawn furniture, are all made for life outside. (Naturally, most of the chairs come equipped with a metal bottle opener under an armrest for ultimate lollygagging.)
Architect Peggy Gilday, founding principal at Jackson’s Gilday Architects and the architect behind the recent Teton County Library expansion, was initially drawn to the “pop of color” and urban form of the fiery orange Loll Adirondack chairs she put on her back deck. “I love the clean lines,” she says. “It is nice that it comes in different sizes and colors. It is comfortable, and it really holds you in.”
But it was the furniture’s function that finally sold her. Loll is made for areas with harsh weather. Statement colors—sunset, leaf, sky, evergreen—are embedded into the material with a pigment that has UV protection to reduce the effects of the sun and help to deter fading. And the care instructions are simple: clean with soap and water.
Jackson-based interior designer Shannon White says, “My favorite designs are those that start with a traditional silhouette, like the Lollygagger Collection, and are then edited to their simplest forms. The result with Loll is modern, vibrant, and fun. These pieces have a visual weight that holds its own against rustic mountain architecture, without feeling too heavy or bulky.”
To Buy: lolldesigns.com; chairs from around $400; an “Outlet” section on the website offers discounts on older models, off-colors, scratched and dented pieces, and prototypes.