Greener carpets from Ulster

For Ulster Carpets, sustainability is about much more than the choice of wool in every carpet.

Find out more about Ulster Carpets

Wool is regrown in 12 months, providing a rapidly renewable supply. Wool’s natural characteristics also make it more durable, which adds to the sustainability of this natural raw material.

However, the significant difference between Ulster and other competitors who also use wool can be found in how the carpets are manufactured.

Unlike other carpet companies, Ulster controls every aspect of their manufacturing process. This provides complete control and allows the company to manufacture in an ethical manner that reduces the impact on our planet.

This commitment was demonstrated recently with the switch to a new Green Energy Contract to supply the company’s manufacturing and warehouse facilities in Portadown with power generated by local, renewable sources.

Eddie Ruddell, Health, Safety and Environment Manager at Ulster Carpets, explained, “We have always been a company with an ethos of sustainability. Founded in 1938, the company has invested in key strategic innovations to maintain local jobs, create a premium product and export globally to some of the most luxurious establishments in hospitality.

“As a manufacturer, we have a responsibility to steward our people and planet well. Our latest strategic move in sustainability has been to partner with Power NI to procure 100% green electricity for our NI operations. This commitment has been forecasted to reduce our carbon footprint by over 950 tonnes per year – a key step in moving to decarbonise our manufacturing operations.”

These carbon reductions are the latest step in Ulster’s long-term sustainability targets.

As the first textile manufacturer in the UK to be awarded the Carbon Standard Award, Ulster have a track record of developing innovative solutions that reduce energy requirements and waste.

That is reflected in the patented weaving technology used to create beautifully designed carpets for the world’s leading hotels, casinos and cruise ships.

When PSYLO™ was launched in 1999 it revolutionised the industry by providing unlimited design freedom. This innovative technology enables carpet to be manufactured to a greater degree of design intricacy and in an enhanced spectrum of colours.

Now Ulster’s own technology and development company have enhanced this even further by developing a new generation of PSYLO™ looms. Key areas including maintenance, reliability and life-cycle costs were considered during the design process, ultimately making the new versions faster and more energy efficient that their predecessors.

The new looms will seamlessly work alongside intuitive systems that are already in place.

For example, Ulster’s Dyehouse and Energy Centre has significantly reduced the amount of water and energy required for this process while the Wind-to-Length calculates the specific amount of yarn required for every carpet, cutting down on waste and unnecessary stoppages during the weaving process. 

Ulster also diverts 100% of post manufacturing waste away from landfill – a move enhanced by the creation of an Ulster Recycling Hub in Devon. This new hub coverts waste materials such as wool, cloth, woven carpet and used tyres into Axfelt Triple Layer underlay. This luxury product is manufactured using 100% recycled materials.

Collectively, these are all important steps forward in the company’s decarbonisation strategy and they will also help the hospitality industry meet the increasing demands for more sustainable products.

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About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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