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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Color-Emotion From Mohawk - Part V: Eco-Chic, Eco-Elegance

The final part of Mohawk's Color-Emotion presentation:

As environmental awareness grows among American consumers, manufacturers are making great strides in introducing Eco-friendly products that promote healthy living for ourselves and our planet.

The essential aim of green design is to produce living spaces, products and services in a way that reduces the use of non-renewable resources, minimizes environmental impact, and relates people with the natural environment.

Green design is a reaction to our planet's "environmental crisis."

The environmental crisis is a result of the rapid growth of human population and economic activity, combined with the depletion of natural resources and damage to ecosystems.

Although environmental concerns have been in the interest of the American consumer, recent issues such as food shortages, rising fuel costs and global warming have pushed the subject back into the spotlight.

Perhaps the sense of urgency of better environmental practices comes from the fact that as Americans, we are guilty of being one of the more wasteful nations on the planet. Although we make up on 5% of the planet's population, Americans consume 24% of the world's energy and 20% of the world's natural resources.

But, many American consumers make purchasing decisions based on personal, social and environmental values. This group wants to integrate their values with brand choices and purchasing options. In fact LOHAS [Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability] which is a market segment focused on health and fitness, the environment, personal development and sustainable living describes a US marketplace of $226.8 billion for goods and services that appeal to consumers who share these values.

From the automotive industry, to fashion runways and beauty products, manufacturers have excelled in expressing this movement with exciting new introductions.

But nowhere is this trend more prevalent than in the home. From solar panels for energy efficiency, to roof water harvesting systems for landscape irrigation, tomorrow's home builders are learning to design and build with respect for the environment. In fact, a survey from the National Association of Home Builders shows that 64% of all home builders will be involved in green building projects this year. Once inside the home, new areas are being created that reflect nature, use Eco-friendly accessories and promote healthy living.

This newest twist on the environmental movement expresses all the colors of nature, not just the earth tones of seasons past. Also popular are textures and finishes that manifest nature into our decor.

As the largest recycler in the floor covering industry, we at Mohawk are very proud of the fact that our environmental footprint gets smaller each year.

Beginning with what we call the P.E.T. project, truckloads of water and soda bottles as well as rigid plastic food containers arrive at our plant. There's an old saying that "one man's trash is another man's treasure." And this is true of these bales of soda bottles. The bottles are made from polyethylene terephthalate or P.E.T. [common name polyester]. The plastics are sorted, ground, washed and then extruded into polyester fiber. Annually we take in 3 billion bottles - that's 25% of all bottles collected in North America - and produce 160 million pounds of recycled fiber.

This fiber goes into our luxurious carpets, as well as Mohawk home products like designer pillows.

But, it doesn't end there. Bottle caps, labels, shrink wrap from the pallets or any other similar items that are not suitable for carpet fiber are used in the production of plastic center cores on which we roll the finished carpet for transport. These plastic cores have 3 times the lifespan of cardboard, and are much less likely to break and damage the carpet. Most importantly, this process saves 68,000 trees per year.

In another effort to keep materials out of our landfills, Mohawk began our non-woven division to take waste carpet and yarn and turn it into premium synthetic carpet pads. Since its beginning in 1999, Mohawk has produced 60 million square yards of carpet pad from 111 million pounds of recycled carpet. In addition, we actively participate in the Carpet America Recovery Effort [C.A.R. E.], and industry-wide and government initiative dedicated to the recycling and re-use of post consumer carpet.

Mohawk Home annually recycles 720,000 tires into crumb rubber for designer door mats. In all, Mohawk has created 200 actual products made with recycled content.

By recycling post consumer goods and waste into new products and using Eco-friendly materials at every opportunity, Mohawk continues its commitment to reducing and eliminating any negative impact on the environment.

As you can see, the Mohawk buying experience is founded with the utmost consideration to style and accuracy. The validity of our trending process can be seen in the research we gather, the boards we create, and the products we introduce. It is a lengthy, but essential process whose ultimate goal is a superior product and a very satisfied customer.

For more information about Mohawk's Eco-efforts, visit the Mohawk Greenworks Blog.

Starting with
Flooring Inspiration From Mohawk, read Color-Emotion From Mohawk - Part I, Part II - White, Part III - Going For Baroque, and Part IV - Desert Neutrals representing Mohawk's 2007 color presentation developed by Vickie Gilstrap, Nathan Hammett, Lauren Campbell, Luanne Holloway, Rebecca Frazee, Cliff Lyles, Susie Bell, Katherine Bugsch, and Michael Thompson. It ends with this post.

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