Tufenkian tutorial 2012 1 10 (1)

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A T R A D I T I O N O F E A R T H - F R I E N D LY P R A C T I C E S

James Tufenkian’s mandate to “leave the places we touch a little better than we found them” is at the core of everything the company does—it always has been. From using traditional handmade processes such as carding, spinning and shearing by hand to transporting some materials by yak, Tufenkian’s dedication to minimizing its impact on the environment began long before it was the suggested or required thing to do. Over the years, Tufenkian has taken exceptional steps to preserve and improve the environmental conditions in the workplace and the community.

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 towards the 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 The heat for Tufenkian’s dye-baths—virtually the only energy-consuming step of the carpet production process—is generated by oil rather than burning wood. Although very expensive due to the skyrocketing cost of oil, Tufenkian uses this method to help reduce the cutting of the scarce forests in Nepal. Unfortunately, many other factories have reverted to the use of wood to save money, and the land is suffering as a result.

GREEN SPACE Extensive gardens were built around Tufenkian’s Nepal facility to minimize the annual erosion of the surrounding hillsides during the monsoon season, as well as provide a serene environment for the workers. The gardens have matured into a beautiful bamboo forest that provides cover and fresh air for the washing/dyeing facility located within it.

WASHED CLEAN Tufenkian carpets are finished with a Knecht washing in Switzerland that meets the highest standards of environmental responsibility imposed by that country. Carpets can also be washed locally with facilities in Nepal and Armenia.


Tufenkian carpets are made entirely of natural fibers, which require no energy or oil to

manufacture, and are biodegradable. But these rugs are designed and made to last a lifetime, and then be 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 production facility. Also, Tufenkian Heritage Hotels are the only ones in the country to purify their wastewater before releasing it.