From fishing nets to carpets: Desso joins Healthy Seas

Supporting a circular economy by recovering and recycling waste fishing nets into textile products

Desso, the global carpets, carpet tiles and sports pitches company, today announced its participation in ‘Healthy Seas, a Journey from Waste to Wear’. Desso is the second major flooring company to participate in Healthy Seas. Over 50% of their carpet is available with regenerated yarn made from pre and post-consumer waste, such as fishing nets recovered by the Healthy Seas initiative.

Desso believes that it is their responsibility to develop products that contribute to a healthier living and working space. Corporate Responsibility is being embraced as a responsibility that delivers success in terms of commercial profitability and a positive impact on people and the environment.  In 2008, Desso set on its current course to make all of its products according to the Cradle to Cradle® concept by 2020.

“The Cradle to Cradle® vision is to design products and services that make the world better than it was before,” says Desso CEO Alexander Collot d’Escury. “The way the oceans have been fished – leaving waste behind and harming sea life and the environment – is a very stark example of bad design. We are delighted to support the Healthy Seas initiative, which fits in with Desso’s commitment to developing a business model that utilises waste in order to create healthy new materials and at the same time make a positive impact on the planet.”

The issue of marine waste is vast.  According to a report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), there are approximately 640,000 tons of abandoned fishing nets in the oceans, accounting for one-tenth of all marine litter. These discarded nets can remain in the sea for centuries continuing to catch or injure marine life such as fish, dolphins, turtles and marine birds (known as ghost fishing).  Healthy Seas aims to provide a solution by bringing together businesses, NGOs, divers, fishermen and other stakeholders to recover the fishing nets and recycle them into ECONYL® yarn that can be used for a wide range of textile products, including carpets, swimwear, underwear, high-tech clothing and sportswear.