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Interface unveils bio-based nylon made carpet Fotosfera
Sep '12
Global carpet tile manufacturer Interface is striding ahead in its Mission Zero quest – to eliminate its impact on the environment by 2020 – with the unveiling of its first ever truly commercial carpet tile made from plant (or bio) based nylon.   
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. 

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