After reading The Ecology of Commerce in 1994, Ray C. Anderson, the late founder of carpet tile manufacturer Interface, experienced his now famous environmental epiphany that companies can “do well by doing good.” He challenged his company to “take from the earth only what can be renewed by the earth naturally and rapidly, and to do no harm to the biosphere.” That year, Interface launched ReEntry, a carpet reclamation program that set Interface on its journey toward its ultimate target of Mission Zero: zero oil, zero emissions, and zero waste by 2020.
In the Ray C. Anderson plant in West Point, Ga., about 80 miles southwest of Atlanta, Interface’s reclamation practices are evident from the moment that carpet begins to take shape from raw materials. The tufting process uses yarn that may comprise a minimum of 25 percent post-consumer yarn content, and up to 100 percent of combined post-consumer and post-industrial materials. Nearby in LaGrange, Ga., the ReEntry 2.0 facility enables Interface to recycle type 6,6 nylon, type 6 nylon, and the backing materials from broadloom and modular tiles from nearly any carpet manufacturer. ARCHITECT recently visited Interface to see its innovative production and reclamation processes in action.