Carpets made from sweatshirts and jeans labels
At Sharda Exports, the remains of old flip-flops, worn-out sweatshirts and jeans labels are transformed into carpets, bathroom textiles, beanbags and cushions. The mantra of this Indian company is “Recycle. Reinvent. Rediscover.”, and they have been true to it, fashioning home textiles from the detritus of the industrialised nations of the West. Their creativity knows no bounds, giving rise to tufted, hand-woven and patched carpets made from old sweatshirts, T-shirts, jeans, ties and other usable textiles.
The company started from modest beginnings back in 1983, when J.K. and Meenakshi Gupta established a carpet manufactory with six employees in the vicinity of New Delhi. By the early 1990s, the company was already exporting its products to England and France. Today Sharda has 3,000 employees and supplies 79 countries. Its customers include such well-known names as C. Wonder, Tory Burch, Mont Blanc, Neiman Marcus and Chanel, as well as hotel chains like The Westin and Sun Resorts.
Why are ecological and social aspects so important to Sharda? Ashish Sharma of Sharda offers numerous reasons: in a country where many people suffer from poor working conditions, Sharda India has set itself the goal of offering its staff an exemplary working environment and sustainable livelihood. There is a fundamental trend towards greater demand for “green” products, and Sharma unterlines the importance of the increasing global awareness of sustainability. More and more companies are making sustainability part of their corporate strategy, and Sharda is profiting from this development.
Cutting costs represents another reason. Savings can be achieved through the efficient utilisation of resources, and the use of water, electricity and chemicals in the production process is limited to what is absolutely necessary with the aid of an environmental management system. In order to save electricity, bleached carpets are dried in the sun, and a solar heating system is used to preheat the water needed for bleaching the materials. Recycling systems permit the recovery of as much as 80 percent of the water and energy used.
Sharda is a pioneer among Indian carpet manufacturers. It has been ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 certified for more than ten years, and also boasts the RugMark and GoodWeave seals of approval. Thanks to its innovative use of materials, Sharda was presented with the “Trend towards Veracity” award at the 2012 Heimtextil. Sharda will also be present at next year’s Heimtextil, unveiling its latest creations in Hall 6.1.