Proving that the pursuit of great design and sustainability are inseparable, Interface has unveiled the Embodied Beauty collection. In keeping with the company’s longstanding commitment to lowering the carbon footprint of its comprehensive catalogue of products, Embodied Beauty goes beyond carbon neutrality as it aims to restore the wellbeing of the planet with Interface’s first-ever carbon negative products. In addition to three cradle-to-gate carbon negative styles, each of collection’s seven styles is carbon neutral across its full product life cycle through the company’s global Carbon Neutral Floors™ program. Alluding to Japanese minimalist aesthetics and the organic allure of the natural world, Embodied Beauty boasts sophisticated styles that range from textural monochromatic patterns to large-scale, graphic tufted textures, which combine and contrast tastefully to lower the carbon footprint of a space in style.
Beauty that restores
“When it came time for us to create the first carbon negative carpet tile collection, it felt natural for us to look to a culture that is about renewal with a mentality of zero waste and being one with nature,” says Interface Vice President of Global Product Design Kari Pei. “It offers the perfect metaphor for Interface in leading this revolution of industry and manufacturing. There is a great connectivity to the Japanese ideals and what we were doing.” The collection conjures a nuanced connection with nature as it embraces the principles of ikigai—a Japanese concept related to wellbeing and happiness—which teaches an appreciation of transience and ephemerality. “Ikagai means having a purpose,” explains Pei. “It is one little word with a lot of meaning that married perfectly with the intent of this collection, which was to design a restorative product, going beyond eliminating the carbon footprint.”
Building on these inspirations, Embodied Beauty brings new life to the expected as it encompasses calm, muted grays in warm and cool tones along with natural colors for added dimension. “Embodied Beauty truly encapsulates the idea of working in alignment with nature, which is a concept often emphasized in Japanese culture,” says Pei. “This inspired the aesthetics in the design and yielded a wealth of textural and color options to consider.” Evoking the delicate beauty of antique textiles, Simple Sash™, Sashiko Stitch™, and Vintage Kimono™ pair perfectly with Zen Stitch™, which offers an engaging and irregular gridded texture. Geisha Gather™ offers modern motifs with zen-like patterns, while the organic texture and soft, subtle striae of Shishu Stitch™ and Tokyo Texture™ take cues from the natural world. “Looking closely at the styles, you can recognize elements of kintsugi, the art of mending broken objects to create something new and beautiful, as well as sashiko, a decorative form of stitching,” says Pei. “The carpet tiles create a refined floor that projects poise and quiet grace suitable for virtually any space.”
Less carbon and more beauty
With an understanding of the connection between climate change and carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, Interface embarked on a mission to create products that store carbon and help restore the health of the world. Interface uses carbon as a building block to engineer better products and their latest launch leverages material science and research, resulting in a new evolution of its backing system. Boasting bio-based materials and recycled content, Interface introduced CQuest™ backings with this collection, which offer a much lower carbon footprint as they move away from the status quo and toward carbon negative. When measured on a stand-alone basis, the new materials are net carbon negative.
Embodied Beauty’s trio of cradle-to-gate carbon negative styles include Shishu Stitch, Tokyo Texture, and Zen Stitch. The pioneering products are created with a combination of Interface’s CQuest BioX backings, specialty yarns, and tufting processes, which results in carpet tile that stores more carbon than was emitted during its manufacturing. Expertly illustrating the idea that great design and sustainability are inseparable, the finished product brings together durability, distinguished designs, and a negative carbon footprint that benefits the planet. More importantly, offering designers the opportunity to reduce the carbon footprint of the spaces they design and setting a new standard in the industry.