Interface links social, sustainability and style
Volume 26/number 28 June 10/17, 2013
One of the best stories coming out of NeoCon is from Interface, which combined environmental and social responsibility, sustainability and product design via a new modular carpet collection called Net Effect. The line is inspired both by the ocean’s beauty and its plight—marine life and habitats that are endangered by discarded fishing nets, acidification, over-fishing, pollution and climate change.
The collection was born of Net-Works, an innovative global business and conservation association between Interface and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). It was launched in the Danajon Bank area of the Philippines in 2012 to tackle two distinct issues: First, to address the growing environmental problem of discarded fishing nets in some of the world’s poorest coastal communities, and second, to help find a viable waste stream to feed the company’s ambitious post-consumer nylon recycling goals.
End-of-life fishing nets recovered from the fishing industry supply chain represent some of the world’s cleanest and most abundant source of post-consumer nylon, the same raw material as carpet yarn. Developing a local reclamation system for these nets, Net-Works is improving residents’ livelihoods and providing the impetus for new community banking institutions that offer long-term solutions to poverty.
Net-Works provides significant economic benefits to the fishing communities involved, protects marine life and helps clear vulnerable beaches and endangered reefs, thereby providing environmental, economic and social benefits.
Style and design
The Net Effect collection provides a subtle visual reminder of the sea on its surface, with a design reminiscent of swirling currents. Created by David Oakey, the collection of six modular carpet tile options embraces sustainability in construction and concept. “Aesthetically, we wanted Net Effect to capture the positivity of the Net-Works partnership and the beauty of the waters it’s so closely tied to,” Oakey said.
Net Effect’s three 50 cm square tiles – comprising a neutral ground, transition tile and textural accent—evoke the sea with a texture that references the moment when waves wash over land. The three tiles can be combined to create design elements including continuous transitions, borders and inset area rugs.
The square tiles’ organic forms pair well with three 25 cm-x-1 m skinny plank styles that capture the fluidity of water and convey the expanding and contracting rhythms of the tides with more linear patterns. The square and plank tiles’ shared coastal color palette of two blues and six neutrals was drawn from the depths of the ocean, and the sun-and-salt-bleached wood and stone found on shore.
Net Effect contains up to 81% recycled content with 100% of recycled content yarn from Aquafil, which has refined the technology used to recycle nylon waste into new nylon carpet fiber. The yarn is created using various sources, including used carpet fluff harvested from Interface’s ReEntry program, commercial fishing nets and, shortly, nets from the Net-Works project in the Philippines.
Manufacturing will take place in Interface’s North American, European, and Asia-Pacific facilities. This uniform global production allows for specification on six continents.