We all live downstream from environmental factors that impact our way of life and the well-being of our environment. The over-consumption and poor disposal of plastic has become a critical threat to human health as well as the health of the planet’s oceans and marine life. Our product choices should be informed by a holistic view of the product life cycle -- from how products are manufactured to how they are disposed -- to ensure better outcomes for the environment and all its interconnected elements. 

Designers and specifiers should seek flooring products that balance beauty, performance and sustainability to deliver improved well-being not only to end users but also to the planet itself. Distributed nationally by Above Left, Carpets Inter’s new Upstream Collection encapsulates this ethos in a new range of stylish, high performance modular carpet tiles. 

Evoking the continuous movement of water, from creeks and lakes to rivers and oceans, the Upstream Collection emphasises the importance of using sustainable products to protect the future of the planet. This new collection highlights how, with its 100% recyclable modular carpet tile solutions, Carpets Inter has diverted significant amounts of plastic waste from becoming part of the essential movement of water and clogging waterways, rivers and oceans. For over a decade, the company has swam against the current of convention, innovating in terms of materials, manufacturing and business practices to take a leadership role in reducing the environmental impact of construction.

The Upstream Collection features EBB and FLOW, two distinct styles of modular carpet that offer high performance, functional aesthetics and superior value, while delivering significant environmental benefits. Both available in five shades and patterns, EBB’s dynamic organic pattern accentuates any floor space whereas FLOW’s continuous, flowing patterns symbolise the steady flow of design.

EBB and FLOW are backed by Carpets Inter’s unique EcoSoft® carpet cushion backing, which is fabricated from millions of recycled plastic bottles. Soft to the step yet resistant to fiber-crush, EcoSoft® offers better comfort and appearance retention that any other carpet with hard backing. This ability to look good for longer is combined with exceptional durability and thermal insulation to create indoor spaces that are attractive, long-lasting, comfortable and energy efficient. EcoSoft® also offers outstanding acoustic benefits with twice the sound absorption of traditional hardback carpet tiles.

EcoSoft® has superior dimensional stability without using any harmful fibreglass, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), bitumen or polymers. Its light weight contributes to a smaller carbon footprint due to fast installation and reduced energy required for transport.

A key component in creating livable indoor spaces, EcoSoft® is compliant with the Carpet Institute of Australia’s requirements for Indoor Air Quality. The porous characteristics of EcoSoft® allow moisture from beneath the carpet to release and dry out, eliminating the risk of emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and adhesive failure. By comparison, non-porous flooring like vinyl floors, hard-backed carpet tiles and timber increases the risk of moisture build-up that exposes adhesives and tile backings to high pH levels from the alkaline within concrete. This can lead to adhesive failure and the release of harmful VOCs. 

In Australia, EcoSoft® is certified to the highest Environmental Certification Scheme rating (ECS4). It can also be used to garner LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) points and conforms with other international environmental and sustainability initiatives such as Singapore Green Building Product certification and the European Safety Standards.

Carpets Inter has recycled over 700 million PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles for the manufacturing of EcoSoft® and will recycle over one billion discarded plastic bottles by 2025, greatly reducing the effects of plastic pollution. EcoSoft® is made out of 80% post-consumer material re-engineered from discarded drinking water bottles plus 5% post-industrial recycled PET. Plastic drinking bottles are a major environmental threat, swallowing landfill space, increasing air-pollution through incineration and choking waterways. 

Based on current trends, by 2050 there could be more plastic in the sea than fish. Solutions like Carpets Inter’s Upstream Collection and EcoSoft® help address this issue and contribute to sustainability goals on a personal and global scale. 

Carpets Inter is proud to announce a new phase in its sustainability campaign. In conjunction with the launch of its latest collection Upstream, they will donate a portion of sales proceeds to benefit the visionary non-profit organization, The Ocean Cleanup.

For more information and to learn more about the Upstream Collection and EcoSoft®, visit Above Left’s website at: https://www.aboveleft.com.au.