Cleaning the seas with carpets

Published in Economy, Recycling & Sustainability by

Floor coverings made from old fishing nets pulled from the sea and beach. That’s precisely what Interface, the world’s largest designer and producer of carpet tile, is now offering. The Net Effect collection helps clean the sea, boosts the earnings of Philippino fishermen, and gives us floor coverings with a story.

Recycling is nothing new for Interface, an English-American multinational with a strong design orientation. For years it has aimed to create a closed production cycle by recycling its own materials and using biodegradable materials. What’s more, the company aims to produce in a fully sustainable manner by 2020.

In an attempt to do something for the poorest of the poor through recycling, Interface set up the Net-Works project, supported by a whole army of allies. They include the Zoological Society of London, marine biologist Dr Nick Hill, the organization Nets for Pesos, Aquafil, Dr Sylvia Earle (oceanographer and author of the book The World is Blue), and product designer David Oakey.

With Net-Works, Interface wants to do something about the dumping of rubbish in the oceans and its disastrous effects on the world’s ecosystem. The project therefore focuses on removing old fishing nets from the Danajon Bank, a double barrier reef off the coast of the Philippines. The business model involves buying the collected nets from local fishermen, whose livelihood depends entirely on what they take from the sea. They earn some extra money and, at the same time, clean the beaches and sea.

The project has resulted in a fully applicable line of floor tiles. Featuring splendid tones of blue and grey, the carpet designs by product designer David Oakey capture the lines, waves and shimmering movement of the seas.

Net-Works and the Net Effect collection is a wonderful example of what design can do for a huge multinational that wants to deploy its personnel, resources and market position and work with many partners to make the world a little better and cleaner. On top of that, the project improves the living conditions of poor Philippino fishing communities. Watch the remarkable video here.

Interface plans to expand its line of socially responsible products. This is just the start!

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