Today I would like to focus on the unique product of one of our oldest vendors. New Life Office has partnered with Guilford of Maine/True Textiles for over 18 years. This has been a great relationship because it makes sense to use sustainable/recycled fabric to recover panels for our refurbished cubicles.
In 1995, Guilford of Maine/True Textiles introduced Terratex. Terratex commercial fabrics are widely recognized as the textile industry’s most innovative and important stride toward increased sustainability. Everything about Terratex – from its raw materials to what can be done with it at the end of a product’s useful life – is designed to tread lighter on the earth.
Terratex is made from 100% recycled polyester (largely post-consumer plastic soda pop bottles) or renewable materials (such as PLA which is derived from corn). So, unlike fabrics that use virgin polyester, Terratex works to conserve petroleum resources – and everyone knows that’s a good thing these days.
The manufacturing processes used to make Terratex are deliberately designed to reduce the environmental impact of their operations. Their TerraCHECK™ system scrutinizes the dyes and chemicals that are used to the smallest unit and specifies that only ones meeting the highest environmental standards can go into Terratex. They are also increasing the use of renewable energy such as wind and solar to power their production plants. Over 20 percent of the energy True Textiles uses today comes from renewable sources.
True Textiles does not expect you to go easy on Terratex just because it goes easy on the environment. In fact, they insist that every Terratex fabric performs to the same high standards their our other products, including that it meets or exceeds all ACT performance tests.
All Terratex fabrics are made to be recycled or composted at the end of their service life – instead of thrown into a landfill. True Textiles is going the next step, too, by developing programs such as ReSKU® to actually reclaim their fabrics years later and return them to the supply chain as raw materials for new products. True Textiles has already commercialized several products made from their materials waste stream, including a polyurethane foam replacement for seating and other products for acoustical applications. In the near future there will be more high-value True products made from the fabric scraps that come from their plants.
True Textiles was the first mill to make fabrics designed to cover modular office furniture panels, and sound transparency was an important characteristic for these materials. Virtually all of the hundreds upon hundreds of panel fabrics are well suited to covering acoustic panels – which is probably why they are the world’s largest provider to this market.
The long-term plan for True Textiles is to make things look better and work harder while also taking great pains to make sure that everything they do goes easier on the planet. New Life Office proudly uses Terratex fabrics as part of our sustainability efforts in refurbishing office cubicles. Next time you are selecting fabric for your cubicle furniture, make your mark in the upcycling process and select a Terratex fabric.