Nearly 11,000 pounds of carpet were discarded from showrooms at TheMART Chicago as the commercial design industry prepared for NeoCon 2017. Instead of taking the used carpet to landfills, carpet manufacturers and local non-profit organizations collaborated to repurpose the carpet. The nonprofit, Designs for Dignity, will use the carpet to renovate the workspaces of other Illinois nonprofits. Since 2010, more than 21,000 square yards of carpet tile from showrooms at TheMART Chicago have been donated to nonprofits.

Through the partnership with Designs for Dignity carpet tile is diverted from landfills to beneficial reuse; nonprofit organizations gain effective workspaces to nurture growth and success of their missions; and renovation cost is minimized by utilizing in-kind donations and volunteer design and construction support, allowing non-profit organizations to direct more resources to achieving their goals.

“The carpet industry continually seeks solutions to keep carpet out of landfills,” said Robert Peoples, Ph.D., executive director of the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE). “Repurposing used carpet generated from renovations for NeoCon is just one example of the carpet industry's commitment to sustainability.”

Jennifer Sobecki, CEO of Designs for Dignity, added, “Designs for Dignity is proud to be part of a solution to redeploy showroom and manufacturer carpet assets to further enhance and transform nonprofit spaces into environments that empower lives. Sustainability is one of our core values and we applaud CARE for its efforts nationwide and are looking forward to future collaborations.”

Participating carpet manufacturers include Atlas Carpet Mills, Bentley Mills, Interface, J+J Flooring Group, Milliken, Mohawk, Shaw Industries and Tandus Centiva.

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