Interface Introduces Carpet Collection Made from Recovered Fishing Nets

Net Effect

By Mike Ratliff, Senior Associate Editor

More and more construction and design companies are incorporating recycled content into their products thanks to programs such as LEED and the general trend of environmentally conscious consumerism. But it takes a truly clever program to turn an environmental initiative into a design-forward product that also benefits some of the poorest coastal communities in the world. Interface, the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial carpet tile, is doing just that with their Net Effect collection—a collection of carpet tiles made with yarn produced from recovered nylon fishing nets.

The innovative collection was born from Net-Works, a global business and conservation association between Interface and the conservation charity the Zoological Society of London. The program, which began in June 2012, established a community-based supply chain for collecting discarded fishing nets in rural coastal areas within the Philippines’ Danajon Bank, one of only six double-barrier reefs in the world. The recovered nets, which are made from the same material used to make carpet yarn, can exist for centuries, taking a toll on both the environment and marine life. The nets are also one of the most abundant sources of recyclable nylon in the world.

By collecting nets, the fishermen and community members who generally live at or below the poverty level can earn supplemental income. Keeping nets out of the water ensures their primary source of income—i.e. local marine life—stays intact. Participating villages in the Danajon Bank have collected an average of 200 kg of nets per village each month. For every 5.5 pounds of nets collected, a family can purchase 2.2 lbs of rice, which equates to approximately 4,800 extra meals per village annually on the tables of poor families whose typical monthly household income is less than $195. Collected nets are reconstituted into 100 percent recycled yarn by Aquafil, a global supplier of synthetic fibers.

The finished product is a collection that provides a subtle visual reminder of the sea, with a design reminiscent of swirling currents. Exclusive Interface designer David Oakley, owner of David Oakley Designs, created the collection of six modular carpet tile options. Net Effect includes three 50 cm square tiles (neutral ground, transition tile and textural accent) that evoke the sea with a texture that references the moment when waves wash over land. There are also three 25 cm by 1 meter skinny plank styles help keep your design options open.

For more option on the Net Effect line, be sure to visit Interface’s site.