Green is more than just a buzzword to us. Some products that claim to be green aren’t green. The label is everywhere, but details about what it means for any given product often deem difficult to discern. At Abbey, we don’t believe in green washing. For us, green products mean two things:
- Responsibility; protecting the health and safety of your family.
- Accountability; lower environmental impact on the planet.
Wool carpeting: Most wool comes from New Zealand, whose industry is one of the greenest on the planet. They don’t use internationally banned pesticides and eliminated inhumane animal management practices like mulesing. PETA put pressure on GAP and old Navy (mostly for merino). Wool carpet itself does not contain VOC’s (volatile organic compounds), which may present an environmental hazard. Wool is naturally fire-resistant and composts, depending on the backing.
Forest Stewardship Council hardwood: Hardwood floors are generally not sustainably sourced. FSC certification means that replanting and other sustainable practices are in place as the forest is harvested.
Linoleum: Linseed oil and wood pulp are the two constituents of linoleum, making it a very green product. In the 50’s, crude oil was cheap, and companies begin making cheap vinyl. Unfortunately, that grade of vinyl is one of the most toxic flooring products ever developed. Linoleum is a functionally equivalent, all-natural solution for this kind of flooring need.
Cork: Cork trees aren’t cut down; instead, their outer bark layers are harvested about once a decade. An incredible industrial material from Portugal, cork is a natural insulator, has great acoustic absorption, is antimicrobial, and can be sanded and stained, like wood. It’s soft to walk on, but durable enough for use in airport baggage handling areas.
Bamboo: A grass, technically, that grows in China, bamboo is sustainable, if cultivated and harvested in roughly five-year cycles. To assure sustainable practice, you must buy only from reputable sources. Bamboo is highly durable and has no toxic profile.
Sisal: An African plant whose outer bark is fed to cattle and burned for power, Sisal contains on its inside a soft, light colored fiber that dyes well yields brilliant blonde tones.
Sea grass: A cottage industry, sea grass grows near water in China and Vietnam. Traditionally, the husband harvests the grass and the wife spins it into yarn. Bark remains on the outside of the fibers, giving them a natural waxy finish that repels water. Highly stain-resistant, sea grass appears green at first, but after several months, will lighten to a lustrous brown or gold.
Hemp: Called “mountain grass” by the Chinese, hemp is extremely durable, very stain resistant, and shows a beautiful bronze color.
Whatever your needs are visually, we can match them with natural fiber flooring and a variety of backing solutions to offer you flooring that is lasting, beautiful, and green.