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The green thread: the world’s only 100% Cradle to Cradle certified carpet manufacturer

6. March 2023

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Ege Carpets

We exist to design beautiful carpets for a sustainable future. By continuously rethinking the ways of production and pioneering the art of creative design, we believe in making sustainability a beautiful choice.

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One tenth of all waste found in the ocean consists of ghost nets – that is fishing nets that are either lost during shipwrecks for example or abandoned. A significant threat to marine biodiversity, the nets not only endanger fish, but also other marine life such as dolphins, seals, sharks, as well as birds, who become tangled in the nets, unable to rise to the surface for air. The extent of the problem becomes apparent when one considers that a single net alone can capture hundreds of animals. In addition, ghost nets also have negative consequences for coral reefs, as the nets can break the coral and prevent its exposure to sunlight, thus depriving the reefs of oxygen.

The nets also contribute significantly to the plastic pollution of the oceans. The WWF estimates that one third of all plastic waste found in oceans globally is comprised of fishing equipment such as nets and ropes[1]. Depending on their composition, most modern fishing nets can take up to 600 years to decompose fully. As they do so, they break down into small particles – so-called microplastics, which are often mistaken as food by marine animals. Lodged in their stomachs, microplastics damage their organs and expose them to toxic chemicals.

Legislation is in place throughout the majority of the world that outlaws the wilful abandonment of fishing nets, and a number of civil society actors are working to rid the oceans of ghost nets.  However, the challenge of what to with the nets if they are successfully retrieved remains. Many are sent to landfill, or to be incinerated for energy. Neither of these methods for the disposal of recovered nets are ideal solutions and recycling them has been hampered by high costs.



Formed in 1938 in Herning, Denmark, the carpet manufacturer Ege Carpets is contributing to the eradication of fishing net pollution and plastic waste in general.  It does so by producing carpets that are made using yarn from recycled or renewable materials. Currently, the greenest carpets from Ege Carpets are made with a felt backing consisting of 100 percent of used plastic bottles, and with ECONYL yarn. The yarn is developed from industrial nylon waste and fishing nets, that have been retrieved from the ocean, then cleaned, disassembled and reborn as strong, durable yarn that is both regenerated and regenerable. This allows the yarn to be converted into new products at the end of the carpet’s lifespan.

Carpets made from the regenerated fishing nets can be found in Ege’s ReForm, Rawline Scala and Highline collections. The Eco range combines the regenerated yearns with its patented Ecotrust backing, which is made from used water bottles, making it the company’s most sustainable range. These backings constructed from used plastic bottles contain 15-37.5 half litre bottles per m3.


Ege Carpets seeks to integrate aesthetics, sustainability, and quality into its products and operations. Its products can be found in places as diverse as the Smithsonian Museum in the US and Bahrain Airport.

In 2019, the company devised a comprehensive sustainability strategy based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with an emphasis on transforming waste into resources in a closed material loop and achieving climate neutrality.

Currently, 38 per cent of Ege’s carpets are produced by regenerated and renewable material such as the fishing nets mentioned above and used carpets. By utilising plastic bottles in its carpet backings, 47.5 million bottles remain in circulation. All of its four factories are powered by renewable energy and surplus heat from production is sent to surrounding areas’ district heating network so that it can be used to heat homes. These measures, combined with energy-efficiency initiatives and investments in renewable energy are expected to yield a reduction in scope 1 carbon emissions of 37 per cent.

By 2030, the company aims to produce yarns solely produced from renewable or recycled material and ensure that all of its carpets are recyclable, reusable or compostable. It also aims to ensure that all their products consist of an average of 75 per cent recycled materials by 2030. All waste generated at Ege’s factories should be able to be reused, recycled, or composted. Its transport partners are subject to strict emissions criteria so that Ege can reduce its carbon footprint.

Ege Carpets is also working with its suppliers to develop the necessary infrastructure and technology that will enable the company’s old carpets to be collected and separated so that the materials utilised in the carpets can be reused or recycled. The takeback system was launched in the beginning of 2023 and currently covers ten of Ege’s products.

Ege Carpets’ circular approach to production is reflected in the fact that it is the only carpet manufacturer worldwide with a 100% Cradle to Cradle Bronze Certified® assortment of carpets for commercial use. This certification was achieved in under five years, which is the shortest amount of time taken by any company. Ege is now working on achieving platinum status by 2030.

The company’s sustainability efforts have been rewarded with a slew of awards. In 2019 for example, the company won the Circularity City Product Award, which is a collaboration between Circularity City and EIT-Climate KIC. In 2021, Ege Carpets won the 2021 Sustainability Innovation Award at the inaugural Sustainability Awards that is organised by the Danish Chamber of Commerce and Ernst & Young Denmark. It has also won the EU’s Management Award for Sustainable Development.