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Posts tagged 'waste nets'

Miriam Turner from Interface Talks Net-Works

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Harvesting Fishing NetsHere is Bernie, harvesting waste nets from mangroves on the Danajon Bank, Philippines.

These nets are transported to Interface’s supplier Aquafil in Slovenia, where the nylon is depolymerised and then made into new yarn in Italy.

Interface has more than 365 colourways using 100% recycled yarn. Around half of our raw materials globally are recycled.

Miriam Turner explains more about the Net-Works initiative:

What sparked the idea?

We saw a chance to design a new way of sourcing fishing nets for Aquafil and, in doing so, create an inclusive business model that would benefit vulnerable coastal communities. 

Then we found out that Oakey was designing a collection inspired by Sylvia and the oceans. It all came together!

How did the idea come to life?

It may seem a little crazy that a commercial carpet tile company has ended up working with the fishing community on a remote, double-barrier reef. But that’s the beauty of seeing design as more than just product. Co-innovating with experts from lots of different disciplines has been brilliant; together we’ve re-imagined what the value chain could look like.

Sustainability is the mother of all collaborations after all.

Talk us through the journey of the nets.

After the nets are collected in communities, they are baled and shipped to Aquafil. They are mixed together with all kinds of other waste nylon, including our own carpet fluff—and transformed into 100% recycled yarn that we use in many of our products. The squares and planks are beautiful and so is the story behind them.

What does the future hold for Net-Works?

This is a brand new stream of recycled material; one with a social story, almost like “fairly traded” coffee. Our vision is to work with ZSL and Aquafil to expand this sourcing program as far and wide as possible and grow this inclusive supply chain.

This is only the beginning.

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Find Partners With Your Level Of ‘Values Driven’ Commitment

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To achieve Mission Zero, we strive to only work with partners who have that same level of commitment to building a restorative loop.

Our trusted yarn supplier and partner, Aquafil, has pioneered ways to supply Interface with recycled nylon fibers since 2011 re-purposing waste nylon from many sources, including yarn reclaimed through our own ReEntry® program and end of life fishing nets recovered from the fishing industry supply chain.

With at least 660 million people around the globe relying on the ocean for their livelihoods, and many living on the poverty line, Miriam Turner, Interface‘s Assistant VP, Co-Innovation, saw an opportunity. Inspired by Aquafil‘s recycling strides, she asked “Could we take this down to the community level and benefit some of the poorest people in the world?

What if we could build a truly inclusive business model buying discarded nets from local fishermen giving them extra income and cleaning up the beaches and oceans at the same time?”

Scoping a project of this magnitude requires a lot of hands, hearts and minds so in 2011 the Co-innovation Team began assembling an army of collaborators, including the Zoological Society of LondonTM and marine biologist, Dr. Nick Hill. After intensive research and planning, they decided to focus the Net-Works pilot program within the 7,000 Philippine islands, on the Danajon Bank in one of only six double reefs in the world.

And thus, Net-Works was born. The effects of clearing the beaches of nets isn’t just aesthetic. “In an eco-system as delicate as the Danajon Bank,” Hill states, “discarded nets are incredibly destructive. The nets take centuries to degrade, and with a nylon density greater than that of water, the nets lie on the ocean floor where they do untold damage to marine life.”

Along with helping the villagers clean, sort and sell back the waste nets, Interface and the Net-Works partners have established community banking systems for the residents supporting and strengthening the local, developing economy, and providing new financial opportunities for residents. Community banking empowers village members to establish forms of micro-insurance, savings and loans for the benefit of both individuals and the community.

It means building new models of materials sourcing to ensure the health and safety of our environment. It means beautifully designed products, crafted with care and purpose.

And it means another step closer to achieving Mission Zero


660 Million People

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