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Globally we are progressing towards a more sustainable future and this is no different in the world of carpet design. Design is not only about the aesthetically pleasing and practical elements but also about the environmental aspects of the entire process from beginning to end.
At Shaw Contract Group the majority of the products are Cradle to Cradle certified. Cradle to Cradle is a process that reviews each stage of the project to ensure that all processes are environmentally friendly and to ensure that only healthy and safe materials are used in the manufacturing processes. This is a way of creating a product that is healthy, safe and sustainable for the future.
80% of the carpet made at Shaw is produced from Nylon 6 Fibre and is produced in a closed loop cycle very similar to the natural cycle (growth -> decomposition -> regrowth). Any of the remains of this process that cannot be recycled are reused in carpet cushion backing or in creating engineered resins for plastic automobile parts.
The Recycling Process:
Reclaimed carpet is fed into a grinder that breaks down the carpet into small pieces. These small carpet pieces are then moved into an extruder where the carpet is melted. They are then sorted into a sequence of reactors, the Nylon is separated from the backing in the form of a vapour. The Residual material is captured and used for fuel and for plastic parts. The vapour is returned into liquid form through a distillation process and prepared for the creation of a new product.
Shaw Carpets pride themselves in creating a product that is both design conscious and environmentally friendly and healthy. The majority of Shaw carpets contain over 47% recycled content (and growing). This process is completed in the Evergreen Facility in Georgia. In order to facilitate this recycling process Shaw reclaim post-consumer carpet free of charge. There are over 50 collection points across the US. Since 2006 Shaw have reclaimed over 100 million pounds of post-consumer carpet. There is a number on the back of each EcoWorx Tile and Broadloom with a number to arrange the collection of the post-consumer carpet. In the International Market Shaw will take back 5,000 yards or more of the EcoWorx carpet. This works as a raw material for new carpet that is made. EcoWorx Backing can be used on tiles, broadloom and performance broadloom. This entire process results in an environmentally friendly design.