Mohawk Group launched The Waterways Project on July 21 in Phoenix, Arizona. The mobile showroom will travel to more than 20 cities across the country to share information on sustainable efforts towards revitalizing rivers and waterways. Architects, designers, facility managers and other commercial specifiers will have the opportunity to experience this immersive space and learn about new flooring technologies.

“We are very excited about this,” said Russell Ence, regional vice president, Mohawk Group. “We are starting today in Phoenix, Arizona, and it will continue on for several months finishing up in Miami in November. We are going all the way from the West Coast to the East Coast in a very carbon positive offset, sustainable, environmentally friendly mobile showroom.”

Mohawk Group has teamed up with two environmental organizations as part of the program: Change the Course, which brings together corporations, conservation organizations, and the public to raise awareness about freshwater; and the Waterkeeper Alliance, which coordinates the fight for clean water into a global movement.

“It’s the largest environmental group solely focused on water in the world—there are more than 350 programs globally,” said Glenn Rink, president and CEO, Waterkeeper, who attended the Phoenix event. “They are preserving and protecting our water in every regard possible.”

The programs protect a little over 2.8 million square miles of water, monitoring activities that may harm local waterways, he said. 

“If you’re locally there, you are really able to understand what’s happening,” Rink said. “It’s hard to that if you are a national organization without local representation. The local representation is so important.”

There are waterways cleanups happening all over the world, and Waterkeeper leverages partnerships with companies like Mohawk to help get the word out.

“Mohawk—the storyline that weaves through this product—the water, the rivers, the streams—it's unprecedented, and for us, it’s excitement,” Rink added.

“We are one of the largest recyclers of water bottles as a company,” said Elizabeth Bonner, director of design—education, healthcare, senior living and hard surface, Mohawk. “In 2019, we recycled 6.6 billion water bottles, which we use into our PET products, which are mostly used on the residential side of our business, but the items on the truck today do use some of that recycled product on the backing fabrics of those products.”

Weaving into this story of environmental protection and sustainability are Mohawk Group’s flooring collections, which are inspired by water and nature.

Data Tide, a carpet tile collection, inspired Mohawk’s Group exploration of water. “On this journey of creating this pattern, our designers used a computer program where they were able to take data about water conservation and water issues and feed it into a homemade computer program that gave them beautifully patterning visuals,” said Jeanette Himes, director of design-workplace, woven and Aladdin Commercial.

Another example is Crossing Currents, a collection of carpet tile that uses biophilic design that emulates the natural sediments found along riverbanks and throughout the riverbed.

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