Design is greater than aesthetics itself; it is an excellent design that exists in harmony with nature. It is a philosophy that has guided the global commercial flooring brand Interface embark on the path to sustainability. Undoubtedly, beautiful floors can raise the design space to a higher level, but that is much more than that. The interface is challenged to create the greatest good for the environment by developing innovative manufacturing processes and delivering a floor set by designers and architects that is better for the planet. The achievements of the company cannot help but ask you: are you looking for your producers enough?
“Is 2021 good enough for a product to have the right aesthetics, the right performance and the right price?” The answer is no. As designers, we are aware that embedded carbon or carbon associated with product production is responsible for 11% of greenhouse gas emissions. We know that ice caps melt and that too much carbon in the atmosphere is the primary cause. It also affects public health – not just for future generations, but for today as well, ”said Chip DeGrace, Director of Interface, Design Purpose. “The definition of ethical design is that our work must meet all traditional constraints and be neutral or better negative. Designers and architects have the power to participate in reversing global warming in their work by demanding responsibility for carbon as a constraint and expecting partners to do the same. “
We are optimists who believe there is always a better way. Our mission is to continue to be successful in redesigning our company as a model for the industry and inspiring others to do the same, proving that collectively we can reverse global warming.
– Chip DeGrace, director, purpose of design, interface
Pioneers in the commercial flooring industry
As leaders in more sustainable business practices in the commercial flooring industry, Interface is constantly researching, innovating, testing and re-attempting to pioneer progress. They have created ways to work with recycled content and bio-based materials, leading the brand to introduce carpet tiles that store more carbon than the supply chain and manufacturing process emit. In the past, carpet was an oil-intensive industry, but Interface’s success in adopting more sustainable practices over the past 25 years shows that it can be done. What began as work to reduce the brand’s environmental impact in the early ’90s, led to a bold sustainability goal that aims to become a carbon-negative company by 2040 with a mission to reverse global warming.
And it all started with a customer question: What does your company do to protect the environment?
Climate Take Back ™
When interface founder Ray C. Anderson had no answer to this question, he set out to find it. His search led him to read a book by Paul Hawken Ecology of trade – after which he committed that Interface will become the world’s first environmentally sustainable and restorative company.
What Anderson’s philosophy has evolved into is company Climate return™ mission. Complete commitment to running Interface’s business in a way that creates a climate conducive to living use four pillars: Live Zero, Love Carbon, lead the industrial revolution and let nature cool down. Live Zero simply means doing business in ways that bring back what they took from the ground, while Love Carbon translates into their continuous exploration of raw materials that use waste coal or that sequestration coal to make Interface products. The consequences of industrialization for the environment were serious and industry must work with nature, not against it. To that end, Lead the Industrial Re-Revolution is creating new business models to drive positive change. And finally, Let Nature Cool is just that. Our environment has the power to regulate climate, but we interfere by polluting the air with excess carbon when we have to allow the Earth to cool.
Working on Climate Take Back ™ has been the focus of the brand since Anderson’s epiphany, from the source of the material to the finished product. When you purchase a product, do you stop thinking about its life cycle? The interface worked to close the production loop to remove harmful steps that could occur before the product was even made. It is important how each step is performed: extraction of raw materials, production of materials, production, transport, use, disposal and recycling. When it comes time to remove the Interface floor, they will restore used carpet tiles and recycle materials as a backing for future tiles through their ReEntry program. Closing the production loop removes the most striking phases of the product life cycle, in line with their Climate Take Back promises that help create a life-friendly climate. They don’t just talk conversation, they walk in the walk.
The entire portfolio of Interface floor coverings – including the two latest products of the carpet tile company, Open Air™ i Embodied beauty™ – build on all their principles, innovations and progress, while remaining true to their commitment to the environment. Designers and architects now have even more stylish options to choose from, including three carbon-negative products when measured from cradle to gate.
Open Air ™ collection
Affordable, diligent and designed with open space, the Open Air ™ carpet collection integrates effortlessly with Interface’s solution system. The show is an innovation in design and manufacturing, providing you with the high quality high performance carpet products you expect and deserve.
Designers and end users often look for versatile, affordable neutral parts for open spaces. Open Air ™ offers a wide selection of flooring choices for this type of area, available in our best-selling neutral tones. With Open Air dizaj, designers can be sure to find the best basic look to elevate their space.
– Mindy O’Gara, Director of Product and Learning Experience, Interface
Timelessly modern and made of 100% recycled nylon, Open Air ™ designs offer organic, geometric, linear and textured patterns. The accompanying neutral palette includes different color levels that give you the perfect base for the space you are designing. The Open Air ™ collection fits perfectly in lobbies, offices, salons and coworking spaces. Like other Interface products, the collection is carbon neutral throughout its full life cycle throughout the company Carbon neutral floors™ program.
Embodied Beauty Collection ™
The Embodied Beauty ™ collection is the culmination of Interface’s years of production and design innovation. Led by Kari Pei, Vice President of Interface for Global Product Design, the design team is inspired by the Japanese aesthetics of minimalism, restoration and the beauty of the natural world. DeGrace shared that the team was further inspired by the practice of “sashiko,” a style of hand sewing used to repair textiles or to create layers for extra warmth in workwear as a scheme to interconnect floor patterns in applications. “The color palette is full of natural colors to build dimensions through a mosaic of carpet tiles. The muted, subtle neutral elements that make up the collection honor nature, historical textiles and precious raw materials.
Inspiration by nature does not always result in something that looks like a leaf.
– Chip DeGrace, director, purpose of design, interface
Developed to include carbon neutral and negative carbon styles, Embodied Beauty ™ is the result of designing and redesigning the interfaces of both the carpet tile face fabric and their structural substrates. Interface’s research and development team found inspiration in the way the Earth manages and processes carbon, storing it in trees, rocks and oceans. This, along with the work of the design team, has been translated into three unique styles – Shishu Stitch ™, Tokyo Texture ™ and Zen Stitch ™ – which are in the interface for the first time carbon negative products when measuring the cradle to the gate. Created with a combination of the new CQuest ™ BioX backing, special yarn and our own tufting processes, these carpet tiles store more carbon when measured from cradle to gate than any other before. In addition, all seven styles in the Embodied Beauty collection are carbon neutral during their full product life cycle, as part of Interface® Climate Take Back’s commitment ™.
Just as designers should expect more from manufacturers when it comes to sustainability, Interface it continues to evolve by setting the bar for what designers should expect from the manufacturer’s design services. Welcome Interface design studio is at your disposal, it is made up of a team of designers who are at your disposal to help you with simple, but also customized or abstract projects, at any stage of the process. Save time and gain new insight with your wealth of knowledge by experimenting with color, visualizing space, or even creating custom products. Interface® wants to ensure that the floors used in your project are exactly what you want.
From start to finish, Interface is ready to help all your design projects impress with a variety of flooring styles and deliberate production. Feel good about choosing products, knowing that they are designed by a leader in the flooring industry and have years of development and sustainability efforts behind them. The interface is high above their unwavering principles as they continue on their way to creating the greatest good for the planet. Visit to learn more about their carpet tiles and other flooring products interface.com.