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Interface unveils Fotosfera, Made from bio-based Nylon
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Interface unveils Fotosfera, Made from bio-based Nylon

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Interface is a global leader in the design and production of carpet tiles. Its products combine beauty and innovation with functionality and environmental credentials to help customers bring their design vision to life.


Interface was one of the first companies to publicly commit to sustainability, when it made a pledge in the mid-nineties to eliminate its impact on the environment by 2020. Known as Mission Zero, it influences every aspect of the business and inspires the company to continually push the boundaries in order to achieve its goal.

Interface is now more than half way to reaching Mission Zero and has been widely recognised for its achievements to date. Its products have also achieved several awards, specifically for design and innovation, the most recent being The Athenaeum Good Design Award for World Textiles.

Fotosfera consists of yarn exclusive to Interface that is made from castor plant oil produced in rural communities. The product supports Interface’s strategy to reduce its reliance on virgin petro-chemical raw materials and delivers strong environmental and socio-economic benefits.

Castor oil, the main ingredient of Fotosfera, is produced from plants that are fast growing, therefore readily renewable, resilient and exceptionally low-maintenance. 70% of the world’s castor oil plants are grown in India, in hot, arid conditions where they require water as little as once in up to 25 days.

Crucially, the plants are an important source of additional income for rural farmers, often fetching revenue over ten times what it costs to start the crop. Also, unlike many other crops for bio-based materials, castor oil plants grow in land unsuitable for other uses such as for food production, and in areas prone to erosion acting as an excellent soil stabiliser.

Nigel Stansfield, Chief Innovations Officer for Interface comments, “Fotosfera is a breakthrough product innovation for Interface. It has the good looks and high performance customers expect from our carpet tiles. But with 63% bio-based yarn content, Fotosfera accelerates our Mission Zero aim to eradicate our use of virgin petro-chemical raw materials in our products by 2020; it also provides sustainable business opportunities for rural farmers.

“This is early days but it’s a compelling proof of us pushing the boundaries of what is possible – continually innovating in order to meet our customers’ demands for ever more sustainable products.”

Fotosfera comes in two designs – Structured and Micro – which are both available in eight co-ordinating colourways. As well as including 63% bio-based content, the designs benefit from some of Interface’s other unique sustainability services. Like Biosfera, the product comes with the Cool Carpet carbon neutral service and the glue-less installation method TacTiles as standard, further reducing the product’s impact on the environment.

Interface and zero virgin materials
One of the pledges of Interface Founder Ray Anderson in 1994 was to ‘cut the reliance on oil’. Fotosfera is the latest in a series of Interface initiatives aimed at eliminating the company’s use of virgin petrol chemical raw materials and ‘closing the loop’.

It follows the successful uptake of Biosfera 1 – the industry’s first carpet collection made from 100% recycled yarn – and comes hot on the heels of the launch of an innovative pilot in Danajon Bank, the Philippines. The pilot aims to build a community-based supply chain for recycled fishing nets, providing alternative raw materials for Interface products while cleaning beaches and delivering socio-economic benefits to the local community.











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