Carpet Maker Beaulieu of America Sees a Healthier Future

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In a carpet industry that has seen shrinking market share and endless “me-too” claims among competitors, the No. 3 carpet maker has shown healthier, innovative aspirations with a new technology it dubs Silver ReleaseTM.

Not too long ago, wall-to-wall carpet was king and a status symbol of upscale suburban living. Carpet still enjoys a slight edge in overall share of floors in the home over trendy hard surface choices in hardwood, tile and vinyl, though its popularity has suffered. This is due, in part, to the perception among some consumers that hard surface floors are healthier than their softer counterparts. Carpet makers and research scientists for the Carpet and Rug Institute (www.carpet-rug.org) have known that this is just an “urban myth”-that with proper installation, maintenance and cleaning carpet is a healthy flooring choice. Beaulieu of America, the No. 3 flooring manufacturer in the world and carpet specialist, determined to address this issue head-on.

In 2007, Beaulieu conducted extensive consumer research about carpet issues in its quest to develop a totally new branded approach to residential carpet. Among the many findings, the company learned that there is still a love affair with carpet among women (responsible for 80+% of all carpet purchases) and a pent-up demand, providing the health concerns could be put to rest.

Sensing the potential for a breakthrough, Beaulieu engineers applied an anti-bacterial technology used in bandages, surgical masks and laundry equipment to their production of carpet. In 2008, Beaulieu unveiled its Healthy HomeTM collection featuring its very own Silver ReleaseTM anti-bacterial technology under the newly minted Bliss by BeaulieuTM brand. Beaulieu scored an industry-first and acceptance was overwhelming.

Silver Release is actually based on a home remedy going back to the 14th century. Being “born with a silver spoon in your mouth” comes from the practice of placing silver spoons in mouths of children to combat illness. Hundreds of years later, science proved moms and their silver spoons were on the right track. The molecular ions in silver and copper (also used in Silver Release)

penetrate the membranes of microbes that come in contact with them when activated by humidity or moisture and destroy them. The process is completely natural and harmless but effective.

As Beaulieu discovered, carpet fiber and Silver Release were made for each other. The billions and billions of fiber strands that make up a carpeted room are the perfect host for Silver Release and Silver Release invisibly and tirelessly works 24/7 against the formation of bacteria, moldand mildew. It’s a floor covering dream team.

Beaulieu is quick to point out that Silver Release won’t make you a healthier person. You (or your pet for that matter) can’t roll around on your new Healthy Home carpet and get cured of whatever ails you. You can, however, roll around on your carpet knowing that it’s as healthy, clean and fresh as it can be.

For its inaugural launch, Beaulieu paired its Silver Release technology with its new female-friendly Bliss by Beaulieu brand and Bliss Healthy HomeTM collection. Healthy Home also addresses another top-of-mind consumer issues related to carpet: the environment. To make Healthy Home, Beaulieu annually recycles approximately 1.6 billion plastic bottles diverted from landfills to make its P.E.T. continuous filament polyester fiber. Healthy Home, as well as all other Bliss carpets, also carries the Green Label certification for indoor air quality by the Carpet and Rug Institute.

Orders for Bliss Healthy Home have been brisk. Beaulieu reportsdistribution of displays to retailers is up 30% over any other launch in the 30-year history of the company. Even more remarkable is this is happening in a down economy. After only 8 months since its introduction, Beaulieu is chalking up its Silver Release as a home run. “It clearly touched a nerve with the consumer. Now she can feel more comfortable with the purchase of carpet for her home,” observed Jeff Meadows, Executive VP of Beaulieu. “We’re moving in the right direction.” Consumers can find their nearest Bliss dealer by going the company’s website: www.blissflooring.com.

So what does Beaulieu do for an encore? Already in the works is an even more effective Silver Release formulation to be launched in 2009 utilizing zinc in an expanded Healthy Home collection. Zinc is a widely used ingredient in cosmetics and shampoos and even paints and sealants as an effective anti-bacterial agent. “Carpet has so many unique characteristics that enhance the quality of life, from softness, comfort, quiet and warmth. We don’t think people should feel like they should just give that up,” said Meadows. “Silver Release is one more reason for her to believe in carpet.”

About Bliss by BeaulieuTM Carpet
Beaulieu of America, Dalton, Georgia, makes the Bliss by Beaulieu brand (www.blissflooring.com). Beaulieu of America employs 6,000 in over 30 facilities and distributes carpet worldwide. It is the third largest floor covering manufacturer in the world and the largest sole producer of carpet. Bliss by Beaulieu was launched in 2008 as the only brand of carpet designed by and for the needs of women consumers.

Bliss Healthy HomeTM is the only carpet in the world to contain Silver ReleaseTM anti-bacterial protection that inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew.

For more information, contact:
Patricia Flavin
Sr. VP Marketing
Beaulieu of America

1-800-227-7211
pflavin@beaulieu-usa.com

Is carpet really bad for alleriges and indoor air quality?

99123447_67d80e5190_m1When shopping for flooring, it seems that people with allergies and concerns for shy away from buying carpet. Most people think that carpet traps allergens making them unsafe for people with allergies to be in the same room as carpet.

The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) is trying to debunk this myth! According to The CRI:

“Gravity causes common household particles, such as dust, pollen and pet and insect dander, to fall to the floor. Carpet fibers trap the particles, reducing their continued circulation in the air. Proper cleaning with CRI-approved vacuums effectively removes dust and allergens from the carpet, locks them in the machine and helps keep them out of the air we breathe.
A misperception is that people with asthma and allergies should avoid carpet in the home. But much of today’s carpet is made from harmless materials found in clothing and other everyday fabrics, such as polyester, nylon and olefin fibers, which don’t trouble most people.

Mold and VOC misperceptions: Other misperceptions about carpet involve mold and the emission of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. In fact, it is very hard to grow mold on carpet. Mold grows in any moist environment where dirt and dust provide nutrients. When carpet is kept clean and dry, mold simply cannot grow on synthetic fibers.
Carpet is also wrongly linked to high VOC levels. Scientific studies show that new carpet is one of the lowest emitters of VOCs into the indoor environment, and that these emissions dissipate very quickly. The low-level VOC emissions and the harmless odor from new carpet disappear within the first 48 to 72 hours after installation and even sooner with open windows or doors.”

So, if you have allergies and concerns for indoor air quality – don’t discount carpet! For more information on carpet and allergies, click here.