OBJECT CARPET: Transparency for a sustainable future with the new “Gläserne Manufaktur”
“We want to change the industry.” OBJECT CARPET makes a statement in favor of more openness in the floor covering industry with the principles of the “Gläserne Manufaktur”. The manufacturer of designer carpets and floor coverings has produced NIAGA®, a technology that rethinks the circular economy and takes recycling to a new level.
“The world needs honesty and transparency,” believes Lars Engelke. That is why the
OBJECT CARPET COO Development & Production is now going on the offensive. As a specialist in high-quality floor coverings and designer carpets, OBJECT CARPET has for years been a trend-setter when it comes to sustainability, recycling and designing products for healthy living. Now the premium manufacturer has made a quantum leap forward that calls out for attention: “Our goal is to improve sustainability and circularity in the carpet industry,” emphasizes Daniel Butz, CEO of OBJECT CARPET. “We are convinced that the new technology we have developed in NIAGA® is the right path for the environment and for future generations.”
As a driver of innovation, OBJECT CARPET is eager to share its knowledge. The company even invites competitors to actively profit from the system. After all, OBJECT CARPET does not see its own benefit as the main goal and is motivated instead by an obligation to think and act with long-term vision. For eight years, the carpet maker has been working together with technology companies to develop NIAGA®, an innovative recycling system that takes circularity and transparency to a new level. The result: a 100% recyclable carpet. Because the return of products is central to a functioning recycling economy and a clean environment. “Only if many people are making use of the NIAGA® system will all recyclers be interested in taking back the material,” explains Engelke. For this reason, the manufacturer is hard at work establishing a cross-industry return system for material flows. A huge goal – but an essential one for the climate transition.
“We have to get away from certification madness and move towards honest transparency. Less is more,” believes Engelke. “Certifications only show which substances have been left out. We want to bring light into this jungle by only listing which substances are contained – which for our products will be just one or two materials in the future. For typical carpets, up to 30 materials are used, often irreversibly joined together in a way that makes recycling impossible. Only by consistently rejecting fillers, additives and latex of all kinds is it possible to achieve meaningful, low-energy recycling. This is why OBJECT CARPET worked with the TFI Institute for Flooring Systems at RWTH Aachen University to develop the “Sustainability Product Passport” for greater transparency in the industry. This system provides for meaningful comparisons of different products and certificates to simplify the process of selecting a truly sustainable floor covering.
For circular carpeting made of mono-material, the “NIAGA® tag” affixed directly to the product already provides end users with important information about the material composition and the process for return. Another advantage: the new product has at least the same quality level as the source product. Because even upcycling is a possibility when only pure materials are used.
Concern for the environment has been a firm part of the company DNA at OBJECT CARPET for 50 years now. This explains why Daniel Butz is taking such a holistic approach to his vision of becoming the most sustainable company in Germany. For example, he designed the new headquarters to be virtually energy independent. It has everything from renewable heating and electricity via geothermal energy and photovoltaics to charging stations for electric cars and flower meadows to provide food for bees on the roof of the OBJECT CAMPUS in Denkendorf near Stuttgart. To successfully pursue the green path with efficient processes and state-of-the-art logistics, the manufacturer has also invested very heavily in the Krefeld site. For example, the new NIAGA® coating system for circular products now operates without gas and consumes 90% less than a conventional system.
OBJECT CARPET works continuously to optimize its environmental footprint and is always seeking like-minded companies interested in designing cross-industry circular material flows. The principles of the “Gläserne Manufaktur” are also fully open to the users and customers: “We are always happy to welcome customers and other interested parties at our production site in Krefeld,” says Engelke. “The showroom has been fully redesigned, and our visitors can experience live operation of the tufting and coating system. We want to make the “Gläserne Manfuaktur” accessible and tangible to as many people and companies as possible.”