Spruce Carpets Limited

VIBES Award: Circular Economy

Sponsored by: Chivas Brothers Pernod Riccard

Highlights:

  • Social enterprise specialising in the re-use of textile floor-coverings
  • An average of 100 tonnes of floor-coverings kept out of the waste stream annually
  • Economic (sales income) and social value (volunteer skills development) extracted from re-use operations
  • Increased gross income and sales over past 4 years

The Circular Economy award is for businesses whose product or service fit the principles of the circular economy and demonstrates the business and environmental benefits of a closed loop approach. The judges were impressed with the strong circular economy business model of the enterprise and the clear commitment to sustainability throughout their operations. It was felt that Spruce Carpets were a worthy winner in this category.

Spruce Carpets are Scotland’s only Revolve accredited social enterprise for floor covering (Revolve is Scotland’s national re-use quality standard.) The circular economy is at the core of the company.

Benefits identified include:

  • An average of 100 tonnes of textile floor coverings are diverted annually from landfill Carpet re-use rate – 90%
  • Continuously trying to increase the level of re-use versus recycling
  • A dry-clean method is used to clean carpets as opposed to wet cleaning. The dry-clean method is more water efficient and does not require heat to dry tiles.
  • Lower cost of re-used carpets/carpet tiles
  • Flooring give-aways to the local community of stock unsuitable for the retail market.
  • Partnership with interface to reuse and recycle carpet tiles with target of 50:50 (Interface is the world’s largest designer and maker of carpet tiles with a strong focus on sustainability).

Other innovations include:

  • There is a scoping project to turn the damaged carpet tiles that cannot be re-used into materials for gabion.
  • They take smaller carpet tail-ends and turn them into quality rugs, for sale at very affordable prices.

The judges were impressed with Spruce’s commitment to providing additional advice and support to employees and volunteers to enhance daily living skills. This was evidenced on the staff noticeboard through inductions and the introduction of a Credit Union to encourage saving and understanding finance. The judges were also impressed by the organisation’s strong commitment toward the community with volunteering opportunities, mentoring and work with schools.

"As Scotland’s only re-use textile flooring social enterprise, and one with a strong social purpose too, we were delighted to have been recognised for both our diversion from landfill and workplace skills develop-ment activities that we undertake from our humble premises in the Govan area of Glasgow. We are well placed to research complementary diversion from landfill services and will continue to innovate where practicable in an effort to make a lasting contribution to the promotion and growth of the circular economy." - Alex Weir, General Manager at Spruce Carpets

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