If there is one carpet company that saw the sustainability writing on the wall, it has to be Interface and its family of companies. Way back in 1994, Ray Anderson, Interface’s visionary leader, realized that the way most companies do business was not sustainable in the long run. In fact, Ray was so convinced that he wrote a book, Confessions of a Radical Industrialist: Profits, People, Purpose — Doing Business by Respecting the Earth and put into practice what he preached. The idea he put forward is that by working with nature, instead of depleting natural resources faster than they can be replenished, you can make money and maintain the earth’s natural resources at the same time.
Interface is now the largest carpet tile manufacturer in the world. Carpet tiles alone are more environmentally friendly than broadloom because of the ability to replace a few tiles instead of an entire carpet if specific spots are worn from high traffic, or one spot is irreversibly stained.
Up until 2003, Interface targeted the corporate and commercial industry from malls to corporate offices. In 2003 Interface launched a new residential line of carpet tiles called Flor.
Flor carpet tiles are available in two different materials: recycled nylon or 100% wool (a blend of New Zealand and British wools).
Indoor air quality benefits of Flor:
- mould resistant
- stain resistant
- low VOC content in carpet layer and backing
- formaldehyde free
- cleans with soap and water
Interface takes its environmental commitment seriously. In addition to creating a product that’s good for your health, it also is aiming to make carpets made exclusively from renewable and recycled products that is 100% recyclable. While it isn’t there yet, it’s well on its way. Right now Flor is made from 100% New Zealand and British wool, old pop bottles (polyester carpet tiles), and recycled nylon.
Further in its manufacturing process, Interface aims to have all of its manufacturing facilities run on renewable energy from solar, wind and landfill gas. Right now they have a pilot program in place in the LaGrange, GA plant whereby methane gas from the local landfill site is piped to the factory and converted into energy.
End of Useful Life:
At the carpet’s end of life Interface will take it back through its “Return and Recycle Program,” deconstruct it into its backing and top material to recycle it into new carpet tiles. This process means that carpets avoid landfill completely.
If you check out the Flor website you’ll see that you can design your own carpet pattern. It can be shipped directly to you, or you can check out the dealers listed below if you’d like to see what carpet tiles look like before ordering.