There’s a new player in the contract carpet fiber arena, one that has potential to challenge the traditional branded and unbranded fibers of the world. The fiber leverages the powerful DuPont brand with both a performance and environmental story. The recent Hospitality Design Expo in Las Vegas served as the commercial coming out party for DuPont Sorona, the revolutionary, bio-based material that has been a home run for Mohawk since the company launched it residentially five years ago. The fiber is so unique that last year the Federal Trade Commission granted a new generic classification—triexta—putting Sorona in a class by itself (FCNews, April 6/13, 2009).
What makes Sorona so unique? Better yet, what makes DuPont believe the contract market is ready for a new fiber? Environmental angle? Check. Sorona is constructed of 37% bio-based or renewable materials. Performance story? Check. “With Sorona you get durability, color and design, and permanent natural stain and bleach resistance that will not wash or wear off over time,” said Dawson Winch, global brand manager, DuPont Sorona.
While the commercial entrée of Sorona may be compelling, DuPont understands educating the A&D community on the fiber’s inherent benefits is paramount to its acceptance. After all, 90% of the market is nylon.
“It’s been years since we’ve seen a revolutionary fiber innovation in the contract fiber world,” Winch said. “We are at the ground floor of the sustainability journey, so we have to educate the A&D community on Sorona’s unique benefits and how they can incorporate the fiber into their designs.” This education will be provided through its mill partners as well as DuPont’s involvement in trade shows, trade advertising and seminars.
At the HD Expo, Durkan and Clayton Miller were the first to roll out new Sorona styles, making hospitality the first segment to offer the fiber. “I think you will see Sorona incorporated into additional styles for other market segments at NeoCon, too,” said John Lyons, global carpet business manger, DuPont Sorona.
While performance has been the driver of Sorona on the residential side, the A&D community will also gravitate toward the environmental angle, particularly given how more and more companies are demanding eco accountability from their suppliers. “Given the prices of oil and gas, people are looking for products that offer solutions. Sorona does that,” Winch said.
Sorona can also contribute to LEED in many areas, Lyons said. Those may include rapidly renewable materials, regional materials, low emitting materials and innovation credit.
Finally, Sorona is capable of being recycled back into new fiber, carpet cushion or into products in the engineered plastics industry.