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Carbon-neutral Designtex


Designtex has announced that for the fourth year in a row it has operated as a carbon-neutral company. The New York–based surface materials company assessed its full operational footprint and reduced or offset the greenhouse gas emissions associated with its business, resulting in a net-zero footprint.

Says Susan Lyons, president of of the company, “Designtex views climate change as an urgent matter. This year, we are pleased to help fund renewable energy projects and promote innovative educational programs.”

Designtex continues to partner with NativeEnergy, a leading provider of carbon offsets and greenhouse-gas footprint consulting. To mitigate its emissions, Designtex is funding two projects this year, the first of which is the Indiana School Wind project. School administrators in Indiana considered ways to use the abundant wind in their state as a source of energy for their schools. By relying on carbon offset funding, several school districts have been able to install wind turbines that now power school buildings. Perhaps more significantly, the schools developed a curriculum to provide hands-on renewable energy education for students, which sends them into the future with sought-after green job skills and knowledge. NativeEnergy’s Help Build model gives funding upfront for the carbon reductions the project will generate, providing financial support that enabled the project to be developed. The Indiana School Wind project will reduce 39,000 metric tons of emissions for Designtex and other NativeEnergy partners over its first ten years of operations.

Additionally, this year Designtex is supporting the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Methane Capture and Use project on tribal lands in Colorado. The project captures methane that seeps into the atmosphere from coal seams that rise to the ground’s surface. This release of methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases, has been observed since the 1800s. Harnessing the “fugitive” methane and putting it to good use as energy is an effective way to address climate change. The Ute project will reduce up to 60,000 metric tons of emissions per year. Both the Southern Ute Methane and Indiana School Wind projects are certified to the Verified Carbon Standard.

In 2013, Designtex is also crowd-sourcing its employees to invite ideas for more internal reductions in every area of the company. In the past, Designtex reduced its impacts by installing LED lights, energy-efficient equipment and reducing waste. This year, employees are urged to come up with new carbon-reducing, energy-saving ideas to help the company meet its reduction goals throughout its operation. 

ABOUT NativeEnergy

NativeEnergy is an expert provider of carbon offsets, renewable energy credits, and carbon accounting software. With NativeEnergy’s Help BuildTM offsets, businesses and individuals can help finance the construction of wind, bio gas, solar, and other carbon reduction projects with strong social and environmental benefits. Since 2000, NativeEnergy’s customers have helped build over 50 projects that are now keeping millions of tons of greenhouse gases out of the air. All NativeEnergy carbon offsets undergo third-party validation and verification. Learn more at nativeenergy.com

In conjunction with the above accomplishment, Designtex has launched two new sustainable upholstery collections: Loop-to-Loop and Gold Standard.

ABOUT Loop to Loop 

Loop to Loop is the first upholstery made from recycling already recycled textile waste.

Designed by Designtex, woven by Victor from Unifi yarn for use on Steelcase furniture, Loop to Loop is the result of four companies working together to evaluate and reduce environmental impact within the textile industry. “This project represents a major innovation in textile design, manufacturing, and recycling, as well as logistics. This new closed loop initiative wouldn’t exist without Steelcase’s ability to segregate and accumulate waste, Unifi’s unique textile recycling technology, Victor’s manufacturing capabilities and Designtex’s ability to intentionally design fabrics for future recyclability,” says Carol Derby, VP of Research and Development at Designtex.

Not only is Loop to Loop created from recycled content from within the textile industry, it will also be designed and manufactured for future recycling. Most of the collected cutting waste from Steelcase was already post-consumer recycled fabric made from PET water bottles, which was recycled again into the new polyester yarn within Loop to Loop. This and future products within the collaboration will retain their raw materials’ integrity and value through multiple lifetimes.

ABOUT Gold Standard 

The Gold Standard upholstery line is so green, it’s gold – achieving the first third-party verified gold level certification under the facts ecolabel developed by the Association for Contract Textiles (ACT). This certification recognizes the three styles of the Gold Standard collection – Concept, Pop Art, and Precisio – as meeting stringent criteria for environmental sustainability.

The Designtex research and development team worked closely with the mill to eliminate a host of harmful chemicals from the yarns and dyestuffs, while VP of Design Kimberle Frost contributed to the refinement of the color palette, developing a range of intense and vibrant hues. As a result, the vitality of the Gold Standard collection celebrates this milestone in textile sustainability, offering a material expression of the forward-thinking and life-affirming vision guiding its creation.

ABOUT Designtex

Designtex is a design and product development firm that celebrates inquiry and collaboration. A Steelcase company, the Designtex offering includes upholstery, wallcovering, panel fabrics, drapery, architectural panels, and digitally-printed surfaces. Designtex maintains showrooms, offices and sales locations in 110 global locations. For more information, visit designtex.com.


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