Leading global designer and manufacturer of floor coverings, Milliken, has joined Healthy Seas, a Journey from Waste to Wear’. Healthy Seas aims to recover discarded fishing nets from the seas and to regenerate them into high-quality ECONYL® yarn, which is subsequently turned into brand-new products such as Milliken carpets.

Alison Kitchingman, Director of Marketing and Design at Milliken said: “In line with our commitment to making a positive impact on workplace health, wellbeing and the environment we are delighted to now be a part of the Healthy Seas inititaive. Joining enables us to demonstrate our support to this worthwhile project. We look forward to contributing in a practical hands-on manner to future clean-up operations. Milliken’s journey towards sustainability is always evolving and we are proud to continually challenge ourselves not only to improve, but also to be transparent and fully accountable to all our stakeholders and communities.”

Healthy Seas is an international initiative that recovers abandoned fishing nets that pollute our seas and coasts and thanks to the ECONYL ® Regeneration System the contained nylon is regenerated into high-quality yarn which is then turned into brand new sustainable textiles. According to a joint report by the FAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation) and UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), an estimated 640,000 tonnes of fishing nets are left in our oceans each year, accounting for one-tenth of all marine litter. These nets, sometimes called “ghost fishing nets”, can often be found on and around shipwrecks. The nets remain in the marine ecosystem for hundreds of years. Many marine animals including whales, turtles and birds are captured and killed in the ghostnets, and this has a negative effect on marine ecosystems.

“We are extremely proud to have Milliken on board”, said Maria Giovanna Sandrini, member of the Healthy Seas Steering Committee. “Thanks to the support of partners like Milliken, the initiative has the possibility to grow and reach its goals such as raising awareness about the problem of marine litter and possible solutions.”

For many years Milliken has been using ECONYL® 100% regenerated nylon to make their carpet tiles. Milliken now offers over 500 designs and colour options made with ECONYL® fiber. In 2016 Milliken launched its own Global Annual Sustainability Report, to provide complete transparency and accountaibility to all its stakeholders and communities.

“Milliken has been a leader in environmental sustainability for more than a century. In fact, Milliken’s first recycling policy was established in 1900, and we began investing in renewable energy in 1912. By 1960, Milliken had formal policies in place to protect natural resources. Sustainability is at the core of Milliken’s philosophy to ‘do good’ for the world. With our unique combination of resources – passionate and talented associates around the world, unparalleled technological capabilities, and unique insights into what constitutes meaningful design – we are able to create revolutionary products and practices that improve productivity, preserve resources, and make the world a better place.” Jim McCallum, President of the global Milliken Floor Covering Division.

Discover more about Healthy Seas in our Medium article.