05/01/2022 • 3 min read

Biodegradable Textiles for Environmental Sustainability

New proprietary material reuses post-consumer waste and is 91% biodegradable

by Haworth, Inc.

Over the next 20 years, the global temperature is expected to reach or exceed 1.5°C of warming. If not limited, critical tipping points will be crossed. The consequences will affect our future and the well-being of future generations. That’s why Haworth is committed to environmental sustainability and taking action against climate change. One of the ways we’re reducing our carbon footprint is by using innovative biodegradable textiles made from 100% post-consumer waste material.

Scapes: A More Sustainable Textile

Our new Scapes proprietary material offering is nothing short of remarkable. It starts with chips made from water and soda bottles that are processed and extruded into yarn. Then, a proprietary biocatalyst is infused in the woven product. The biocatalyst is what makes Scapes materials so extraordinary. When the product is subjected to anaerobic landfill conditions, 91% of it breaks down into elements found in nature—in about 1,278 days.*

The fact that Scapes material biodegrades at the same rate as natural wool fabric—and this has been verified by third-party testing under ASTM D5511 standards—makes this an exciting new material for us to offer our customers.

You might be thinking, “What happens if coffee is spilled on the fabric? Will it start to biodegrade?” No, the fabric won’t break down during normal use in an office or home even if it’s subjected to spilled liquids. The biocatalyst only activates when exposed to moisture for a long time in an anaerobic condition, like a landfill.

How Scapes Looks and Feels

When you see Scapes, the first thing you notice is its visual appeal. The texture looks organic, the hues are rich, and the finish appears luxe. Scapes is a matelassé fabric that has what designers call a “soft hand.” Simply put, it feels good when you touch it. The rich tactile surface is inspired by nature, capturing light and shadow and adding dimensionality and warmth.

High Performance for Demanding Environments

In addition to its beauty, Scapes is a high-performance textile that meets ACT performance guidelines for heavy-duty upholstery, which include abrasion, flammability, crocking, colorfastness, and physical properties testing. It will stand up to use for years to come in demanding commercial environments.

Plus, Scapes can be used on just about any upholstered product, including seating and vertical surfaces.

Our Corporate Social Responsibility Report

Haworth works to make the world better. In our annual CSR, we detail our progress toward sustainability goals and share stories about our people, the circular economy, and our operational performance.

A New Way to Think About Textiles

We’re excited about Scapes because this first-of-its kind fabric from the CLEAN IMPACT TEXTILES™ line provides a new way to think about textiles for their entire life cycle. As the industry’s first 100% post-consumer recycled biodegradable polyester, it offers a way to promote environmental sustainability by reusing existing waste and reduce landfill mass in the future.

*91% biodegradation in 1,278 days under ASTM D5511 conditions. No evidence of further degradation


You May Also Like