At Tufenkian, James Tufenkian's mandate to "leave the places we touch a little better than we found them" has always been at the core of everything we do. Our traditional, human-powered processes (which include carding, spinning, and shearing by hand and transporting materials by yak) are just one example of our dedication to minimizing Tufenkian’s impact on the environment, which began long before “going green” was the suggested or required thing to do. Over the years, Tufenkian has taken exceptional steps to preserve and improve the environmental conditions in our workplaces and in the communities that host them:
Not a Drop Wasted
The Kathmandu valley of Nepal is estimated to provide only about 60% of the potable water required by its population. Other carpet manufacturers consume tremendous amounts of this precious water for manufacturing and washing their carpets, thereby exaggerating the water shortage. Rather than continue to be part of this problem, Tufenkian has contributed to a solution by creating and using a water recycling system that allows the company to continuously re-use the same water not only for dyeing and carpet washing, but also for worker use and consumption.
Saving the Forests
Heating the dye baths is practically the only energy-consuming step of Tufenkian’s carpet production process. Although very expensive due to the skyrocketing cost of oil, Tufenkian generates the heat using oil rather than wood to help reduce the cutting of Nepal and Armenia’s scarce forests. Unfortunately, many other factories have reverted to the use of wood to save money, and the land is suffering as a result.
Tufenkian has built extensive gardens around our Nepal facility, minimizing the annual erosion of the surrounding hillsides during the monsoon season and providing a serene environment for our workers. The gardens have matured into a beautiful bamboo forest that provides cover and fresh air for the washing/dyeing facility located within it.
Tufenkian carpets are finished with a Knecht washing in Switzerland that meets the highest standards of environmental responsibility, including our Nepalese water recycling system.
Made to Last, Naturally
Tufenkian carpets are made entirely of natural, biodegradable fibers that require no energy or oil to manufacture. This is good news, especially if one were ever to throw out a Tufenkian carpet. But these rugs are designed and made to last a lifetime—before being passed on to the next generation as a precious, valuable, and enduring work of art.
Expanding the Vision
In Armenia, Tufenkian is in the process of installing a water purification system for its carpet facility there. And, Tufenkian hotels are the only ones in the country to purify their wastewater before releasing it.