The best way to enjoy the sun this summer—while feeling both eco-virtuous and design-savvy—might be by sitting in a groovy recycled-plastic chair by the budding local furniture company Roscoe Jackson. To produce it, designer Caleb Dawson and his associates, Thomas Fowler and Shawn Gnann (the "Roscoe" and "Jackson" in the firm’s name refer to two of the partners’ dogs), turned to a Minnesota company that melts post-consumer-waste plastic to make boat seats. "We figure if it’s good for boats, it ought to be good for outdoor furniture," says Dawson of the moisture-resistant material. He designed the chairs ($285) and side tables (benches and lounge chairs are in the works) and personally assembles the parts, which are shipped pre-fab from Minnesota, in a tiny studio in Bucktown. Available at Sprout Home, 745 N. Damen Ave., 312-226-5950 and


Photograph: Leonard Gertz