About YEMM & HART – Pioneers in Eco Materials
Eco Materials will not harm the environment during their manufacture or use. In 1989 Stephen and Deborah Hart Yemm introduced their first eco material to the Architectural & Design community. Their material was a multicolored plastic panel made entirely out of recycled milk jugs and detergent bottles. The Steelcase Design Partnership introduced this new material to their audience with their ‘New Materials for the 90s’ tour. Yemm & Hart named their compression molded recycled plastic “Origins” because a design customer once wrote that the material acknowledged its origins.
The first group of customers for Origins were artists and aspiring furniture designers. Therefore, Yemm & Hart designed and managed an event for these customers called the Green Seating Tour. Some 30 unique pieces of furniture created by each artist and designer using the Origins material traveled around the United States to various large architectural firms, such as HOK & Gensler. The purpose, as one of their hosts said, was to ‘plant little green mind seeds’ into the consciousness of the professionals responsible for designing our society’s buildings. This was a hopeful step toward the goal of a waste-free society. During this time, YH learned how to perfect the quality of the Origins panels. They also introduced numerous other eco materials with equally high-recycled content. Some of these were Junkmail Board, Thinpoly, Colorspex, Tire Veneer, Rubbertex, Flexisurf and Wine Cork Tiles.
Commercial Eco Material Contribution
Over time, the A & D community settled on Origins, Tire Veneer and Flexisurf because they were the most significantly useful eco materials for the built environment. Origins is recognized nationwide as perfect for commercial restroom partitions, especially to brighten typically dreary rooms. Corporate retail customers often order counter and tabletops made with Origins to make a unique design statement. Origins also allowed them to prove they could use materials with recycled content to good effect and help preserve our environment. All manner of businesses have used Tire Veneer and Flexisurf resilient flooring material because of their tough and long lasting attributes. Designers in Canada, Great Britain, Holland, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, Australia and New Zealand have used YH materials for some of their projects over the years.
In 2004, Yemm & Hart introduced another eco material with a Wine Cork Recycling program. Much larger companies continue to emulate this wine cork-recycling concept causing more corks to be recycled than ever before. Corks that are recycled with YH benefit the senders, their favorite charities and the people who process the corks. The YH program is unique because it allows the individual recycler to determine what to do with the money earned.
Peace & Harmony
The Yemms live and work in Madison County, Missouri within the Mark Twain National Forest. They do not commute and find great tranquility in their surroundings. This includes trees, wildflowers, springs, streams, and all manner of native wildlife. The Yemms manage their forest according to the latest Missouri Department of Conservation guidelines. They are restoring an 1899 one room school house that is located on their land. Deborah is now writing professionally. Simeon Yemm is working on writing, cinematography and the development of computer games. Treston excels at certain high-speed computer games and is developing a YouTube presence. The material manufacturing of eco materials, the writing, and the gaming are all possible because of access to the Internet. In conclusion, the Yemms strive to have a positive effect on the environment by what they do and how they live.
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