Alexander Collot d’Escury explaining Desso’s cradle to cradle carpet manufacturing system at a lunch hosted by Sustainable Business Australia and The St James Ethics Centre in Sydney

17 April 2014 – Alexander Collot d’Escury, chief executive of carpet manufacturer Desso, was in Sydney recently to promote the company’s cradle to cradle manufacturing process that aims to have a restorative impact on the environment.

The company, which Mr Collot d’Escury made clear was keen to outperform all other manufacturers in its processes, revealed something of the future at a lunch hosted by Sustainable Business Australia and the St James Ethics Centre, both now based at Legion House in Castlereagh Street.

In a quick video Mr Collot d’Escury showed carpets that light up with LED powered information that could be programmed to lead people to safety during an emergency, for instance, or with fun patterns designed for a party.

As part of its sustainability commitment Desso has joined an initiative along with a range of other manufacturers of carpet and apparel to remove plastic waste from the ocean, and use it in their processes.

Healthy Seas, a Journey from Waste to Wear” takes marine waste, particularly fishing nets, to create its “ECONYL” product, a regenerated nylon yarn.

As part of the Healthy Seas project, Desso supplier Aquafil recycles old Polyamide 6 yarn from used carpets and fish nets into the ECONYL yarn, a process that can be performed repeatedly.

This means that more than 90 per cent of Desso’s commercial carpet tile collection is now certified as cradle to cradle, with 50 per cent of the carpet tiles containing up to 100 per cent of the ECONYL yarn.

Fishing lines are a huge problem for the ocean. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the United Nations Environment Programme, there are around 640,000 tonnes of abandoned fishing nets in the ocean, making up 10 per cent of all marine litter and causing a hazard to marine life.

Mr Collot d’Escury said that since 2010, the company had been using ECONYL yarn in most carpet products.

The aim, he said, was to use a cradle to cradle approach to make the transition to “the restorative circular economy” away from a linear “take, make and waste” model.

“The cradle to cradle vision is to design products and services that make the world better than it was before,” he said. “The way the oceans have been fished – leaving waste behind and harming sea life and the environment – is a very stark example of bad design.

Attending the lunch at the St James Ethics Centre were:

Dan Chesson, Global Renewables Stuart White, dean of UTS Business School; Ché Wall, director of Flux engineering; Alexander Collot d’Escury, Desso; Nicole Smith, director of Tin Shed Marketing; Simon Longstaff, chief executive of St James Ethics; Gerry Carroll, chief executive of Object Consulting; Claire Budden, manager of Sustainable Real Estate at LJ Hooker; Colin Bray, regional managing director at Desso; Dominic Ambriano, national sustainability manager at AMP; Andrew Petersen, chief executive of Sustainable Business Australia; Suzie Barnett, director at Suzie Barnett Consulting; and Tina Perinotto, managing editor of The Fifth Estate.

– With Tina Perinotto