My guest today is James Stinnett, founder of Earth Weave Carpet Mills. They are the premier North American manufacturer of all natural, non-toxic carpet, area rugs and padding—made using undyed, untreated wool on the face, along with hemp, cotton, jute and natural rubber for the backing materials. We’ll be talking about toxic chemicals in carpets as well as how Earth Weave makes their carpets and padding. James grew up in Dalton GA, the carpet capital of the world, then moved out west to Montana after receiving an Operations Management degree from Auburn University. There he started and ran a successful flooring company, Rocky Mountain Flooring. Inspired by his love of nature to make non-toxic carpet and rugs James returned to Dalton, GA with a passion for providing high quality, healthy, non-toxic products. His company, Earth Weave Carpet Mills, founded in 1996, is the first and only North American producer of truly healthy broadloom carpets. James oversees every aspect of the business ensuring the products he manufactures speak for themselves in quality and purity. After being in business for over 18 years Earth Weave has maintained a notable reputation for being North America’s premier manufacturer of non-toxic, natural carpeting products. www.earthweave.com
TOXIC FREE TALK RADIO
A Truly All-Natural Carpet
Host: Debra Lynn Dadd
Guest: James Stinette
Date of Broadcast: June 30, 2014
DEBRA: Hi. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and this is Toxic Free Talk Radio where we talk about how to thrive in a toxic world and live toxic-free. It’s so important to do this because there are so many toxic chemicals in the world in consumer products we use every day, in the environment once we walk out our door. Even our bodies are carrying around toxic chemicals from past exposures that we didn’t even know about. But there are things that we can do to make our lives better, to be healthier, to be free from the harmful effects of these toxic chemicals. And that’s what we talk about on this show.
Today is Monday, June 30th, 2014. It’s a beautiful summer day here in Clearwater, Florida. Actually, when I’m sitting here during the show, I’m looking out into my garden. There’s 17 ft. of windows. I just am seeing this butterfly flying past my window. It’s just so beautiful. It’s so beautiful. It’s a beautiful day.
Anyway, today we’re talking about carpeting. We’re talking about what’s bad about carpet and we’re talking about the best possible carpet that I know of that you can buy. If you want to have carpet in your home, you don’t have to give up carpet, but you do need to watch out for the toxic chemicals. And that’s what we’re talking about today.
My guest is James Stinette. He’s the founder of Earth Weave Carpet Mills. They’re the premiere North American manufacturer of all-natural, non-toxic carpet, area rugs and padding made using un-dyed and untreated wool on the face along with hemp cotton, jute and natural rubber for the backing materials. We’re going to learn all about this today.
Hi, James. Thanks for being on the show.
JAMES STINETTE: Thank you, Debra. Thanks for having me on. I’m glad you have sunny weather there. We have a little bit of rain here, but you have some nice view to look out there.
DEBRA: Well, we’re going to have rain this afternoon, I’m sure. We have rains every afternoon, thunderstorms. We’re in the south. We’re both in the south.
Anyway, tell me how you got interested in making an all-natural carpet.
JAMES STINETTE: I grew up in Dalton, Georgia, which is the carpet capital of the world and was exposed, I guess, just at every turn because that’s the industry here. It’s kind of like Detroit was to the auto industry. Wherever you go, everyone here is involved in the carpet industry whether it’s manufacturing of yarn, manufacturing of backing systems, manufacturing of the full carpet system or the distribution of it. So I grew up in Dalton and worked in various stages of that.
I guess I’ve more so always been environmentally conscious and outdoors. I just wanted to be outside and enjoy the mountains and things like that. So after I graduated from Auburn University– like I said, growing up here in Dalton, I worked in those various things, but I graduated from Auburn University, I moved out to Montana and I started a business out there selling carpet. I was just selling the mainstream Hoover Covering, Shaw, Mohawk and what-have-you because I was young and had connections from back here. So I had a business doing that. I thought there’s got to be a better way.
I’ve seen landfills here when I grew up in Dalton, we’d take things to the landfill and you’d see all the carpet waste that was there, and just always…
JAMES STINETTE: And at the back of my mind—sorry, go ahead.
DEBRA: No, I was just agreeing with you about the carpet waste. I think that that’s something that most people don’t realize. They put down this synthetic wall-to-wall carpet and it doesn’t biodegrade. Isn’t carpet like a big waste problem?
JAMES STINETTE: It’s huge. And I saw a number the other day, I don’t even want to quote it because I thought it was so enormously high. I need to clarify that. But the amount of volume in pounds that they were saying that carpet attributes to the actual overall pounds of landfill waste was just enormous. You’re right.
So that was where I was coming from. I have that desire to be outdoors and to protect the environment. And selling these things — not huge business, just a small business, but it was growing, I just had this idea, “I need to figure out a better way to do this. There has to be a better way.”
I just started doing some research. Back to the way carpet was made years and years ago before the synthetics took off, before it became cost-effective to do things in a synthetic manner, they were all natural materials. So I went out and just redeveloped a backing system. I say “redeveloped,” I tweaked the old style and developed the primary backing because that was the key thing, getting the primary backing as adhesive because we used wool and wool for yarn was currently being used. So that wasn’t the revolution. It was more just bringing it all together.
The carpet that we make is no different as far as the way it’s made, the process of being put on a tufting machine, yarns and they’re placed in their primary backing and then adhesive is applied to that. So it’s no different than what everyone else does, but it’s just the fact that the constituent materials we use are natural. So that’s where I got into this and just said, “Hey, there’s got to be a better way” and just thought it through and spent – it was probably 18 months of research and development to try to come up with the products we currently have or at least the ones we had then. We expanded the line since then. But the product is essentially the same as it was 18 years ago now.
DEBRA: I just want to congratulate you for having an idea and following through with it in order to make such an outstanding product because a lot of people have ideas and they don’t do anything with it. So this is great that you did something and you made a product and you have marketed it and you have – I’m going to assume a successful business or you wouldn’t still be in business.
JAMES STINETTE: Yes, we’re not the biggest, but it’s going good. Yes.
DEBRA: Good, good. At least you’re covering your costs and all those things and you can stay in business, and feed your family, and all those kinds of things. So…
JAMES STINETTE: In regards to that – I mean, I’ve considered myself more of an eco-entrepreneur. I don’t feel like being an entrepreneur. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. Well, maybe there’s this thought process that, “Hey, you can’t be healthy and environmental and actually be an entrepreneur and good for the economy as well.” I don’t agree with that. I’m an eco-¬entrepreneur and I think that’s where the future is.
DEBRA: I totally agree with you because I think that sometimes people get confused between the idea of being entrepreneurial and having a business or even having a factory and misusing that by some toxic corporations.
Everything in nature, everything in life is producing things. I mean, even an animal will build a nest. A bird will build a nest and we need to build our homes and put things in it. I think that you’re absolutely right that the future is people like you figuring out how to do it in an ecological way, so that the materials that we’re using for these items that we need in our homes, it comes from the earth in a sustainable way. We use it and then it can go back into the ecosystem in a sustainable way.
So I am assuming from the description that I’m reading of your carpet, that you could just put it out in your garden, and it would just biodegrade.
JAMES STINETTE: Yes, over a number of years. That’s one thing that people think, “Well, this carpet is going to fall apart because it biodegrades.” It’s probably a better term to call it is “compostable” because “biodegrade” simply means it’s going to do it on its own, “compostable” means it requires other organisms to do that. But that’s what’s out there in the environment. Once it’s exposed to dirt and the soil and the other organisms, yes, it will be composted actually.
DEBRA: Yeah. And so, your carpet is never going to sit in a landfill. Those landfill carpets, do you think that they’ll ever break down and go back into the environment?
JAMES STINETTE: Well, they say 10,000 years, but how would you know? I mean, you can’t…
DEBRA: Ten thousand years? Yes…
JAMES STINETTE: You can’t really accelerate that in a lab.
DEBRA: I don’t consider 10,000 years to be biodegradable. It’s there and it’s part of the environment and it piles up because it doesn’t have a time period in which it goes back, a reasonable time period in which it goes back into the environment.
That is what happens. Nutrients from the environment go into making these raw materials and then we use them and then they need to go back. Like leaves on a tree, a tree produces leaves, the leaves fall, they do their job for the tree, they fall, they go back in the ground and the ground breaks them down and then the tree utilizes the nutrients again. And that’s the cycle we all should be having.
We need to go to break, but when we come back, we’ll talk more about carpets with my guest, James Stinette, founder of Earth Weave Carpet Mills. We’ll be right back. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. This is Toxic Free Talk Radio.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and my guest today is James Stinette, founder of Earth Weave Carpet Mills. You can go to his website at EarthWeave.com and see his carpets and buy one if you need a carpet for your home.
James, I want to tell you and our listeners some stories that I have about—I would just call them “carpet horror stories.”
Many, many years ago when I first started writing, nobody was talking about toxic chemicals in carpets. And yet I knew that there were toxic chemicals there because I had a number of clients where I would go to their homes and help them identify what was toxic. I knew that for me, I had to remove the carpet from my home because I knew that it was making me sick.
And then I had clients and I would tell them to get your carpet and their symptoms would go away, but there were no studies about this.
I don’t remember the exact year, but I think it was in the ‘90s sometime, the EPA had a big problem, because – I’m trying to remember all the details of this story because they have installed a new carpet and the workers on the EPA building started having symptoms. They documented all these symptoms. They tested the carpet and they found that there was a toxic chemical.
Since there have been a lot of tests on carpets and they are finding just long lists of – I’m not even going to go into what the toxic chemicals are because they’re just a bunch of names that we probably wouldn’t recognize. But it’s not just one or two toxic chemicals, it’s lists, hundreds of toxic chemicals that are found in just standard synthetic carpets.
And I haven’t had a carpet in my home in more than 30 years since I ripped the carpet out of my bedroom one day. I just got on the floor and ripped it out because I couldn’t sleep and I was trying to figure out what I needed to do to make my bedroom a place where I could sleep and carpet was one of those things. I haven’t had carpet in my house since.
So I am very happy that you’re doing what you’re doing because I know some people who really do want to have carpet and there’s no reason not to have carpet if it’s made out of safe materials.
JAMES STINETTE: That is true. And you’re right, a lot of colder environments really need it – the bedrooms (it’s a popular item for the bedrooms) and stairwells and our stairways and basements where there are kids.
And that’s our biggest clients, I guess, new families, young mothers that have kids that want something soft for the kids to play on.
The industry, as a whole, the flooring industry really promotes hard surface for health. There are Scandinavian studies actually that have looked at indoor health and indoor air quality associated with hard surface versus carpeting. And they’ve actually found out that if you have a healthy carpet, that it actually can act as a temporary sink and collect any airborne dust particles until they’re clean. I guess the issue is that if people don’t do the cleaning, then that’s where they run into another risk in addition to the chemicals that could be in a standard carpet.
DEBRA: Well, there’s another whole source of chemicals, the rug shampoo that people then need to clean those synthetic carpets and the contaminants. That makes sense to me, that it would be a sink for dust particles and things because I know that carpets often can collect things.
And I’m thinking, this just occurred to me, I’ve never seen this written that I can recall. You know how when you wear synthetic clothing, that there’s static electricity. And so you have to use antistatic in the laundry. But I’m wondering if synthetic carpets have static electricity kind of thing that would cause more particles to be attracted to it. Your carpet doesn’t have that kind of static attraction being a natural fiber. I just thought of that. I don’t know if you know anything about that.
JAMES STINETTE: I’m not really sure on that as far as whether there would be a difference between a synthetic nylon and a wool.
DEBRA: Yeah. So I do know that the toxicity of carpets has been recognized by the carpet industry. Toxicity in synthetic carpets has been recognized by the carpet industry because now there is a program. I don’t have the name of it at the top of my head, but there’s a program where…
JAMES STINETTE: The Carpet Rug Institute.
DEBRA: That’s right. There’s a program that rates carpets for different levels of emissions. And so if there wasn’t a problem, they wouldn’t have that. And yet I would say that my evaluation would be that your carpet would be just like off-the-charts better in comparison.
JAMES STINETTE:Well, here’s the thing. There is actually just one level. It’s the Green -Label Plus. And I think that a lot of the misinformation that’s out there – we make a wool face fiber. There are other wool manufacturers out there, and they tell their carpets as being green, eco-healthy, sustainable, natural.
Actually, go to their website and you will see the words of wool. It’s green, healthy, eco, natural, sustainable, non-toxic, biodegradable and all these things. And if you look closely, they’re right. Wool is, but their backing system is identical to a nylon carpet because they still have the styrene-butadiene rubber adhesive in there.
And you were saying, they test for these and rate them on levels. They actually do not have different rating levels. There is just one level and it’s really the Green Label Plus. Ay nylon carpet, their nylon carpets can get the exact same rating as a wool carpet, because it’s really the adhesive that has the 300 different chemicals in it – the toluene, the benzene, the styrene, the 4-PC.
A lot of the consumers out there are duped by the industry because they see maybe a designer or someone that’s supposedly in the know that says, “You want a wool carpet because wool is healthy. Wool is green. Wool is eco. Wool is all these things.” They don’t tell you, “Well, it still has the same styrene-butadiene adhesive on the back and moth proofing,” which is a pesticide on there as well.
DEBRA: I want to talk about moth proofing when we come back. We need to go to break. You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and my guest today is James Stinette, founder of Earth Weave Carpet Mills, and his website is EarthWeave.com. You can go there and see his carpets. You can see the little lambs running along the hillside that give the wool for his carpets. I’m not saying those are the sheep, but that’s the idea.
You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. And we’ll be right back.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and my guest today is James Stinette. He’s the founder of Earth Weave Carpet Mills and his website is EarthWeave.com.
James, before the break, we were almost starting to talk about moth proofing and pesticides. I know there are also stain repellants and things. Can you just talk a little bit about those things before we get into talking about your carpets?
JAMES STINETTE: In what regard? I’m sorry.
DEBRA: Tell us about – I think when I was researching this many years ago, there were different types of pesticides that were used on carpets for moth proofing, but there was also a moth proofing process. I’m trying to remember where they change the wool in some way that wasn’t the pesticide. I was wondering if you could just tell us, if something says “moth proofing,” what does that mean?
JAMES STINETTE: They put a synthetic chemical permethrin on there, which is somewhat a derivative of the chrysanthemum plant. I guess they take something from that plant and change it around to get this chemical make-up. And it’s a known neurotoxin. So it’s something that my clients and our customers do not want on their product in their home. We don’t feel that it’s needed on the carpet and that it’s just something that’s not healthy.
DEBRA: Yeah. What about stain-resistant products? Are there things like Scotchgard and things like that? Do you know anything about this…?
JAMES STINETTE: I’m not sure if the industry – they’ve kind of gotten away a little bit from Scotchgard. Well, actually, Scotchgard changed one of their chemicals that was in there because it was actually known to be a carcinogen. They found out to be that. So they’ve reformulated a little bit, but it’s still out there in the whole synthetic industry.
The big thing now with carpet is they’re soft as wool or soft as silk, soft, soft, soft and they’re doing that through chemical processing. They’re taking synthetic yarns and treating them in a different manner to get the softness. I don’t think they’re going to perform as well as they had in the past, but they’re trying to give this hand and this luster and this appearance of wool. Everything is trying to approach the perfect fiber, which is wool.
Really, the scale structure on the fiber, everything about it, you cannot mimic through a synthetic because if you’ve ever looked at a wool in the microscope or there are pictures of it, it has a scale structure and that scale structure lends itself to its durability and its longevity and its resilience and also its clean ability.
So the synthetics, they’re trying to get there, but they can’t do it. They try to mimic it the best they can, and they do it through chemical processing.
DEBRA: Yes, yes. Tell us about your carpets now. Tell us about the materials and how you put them together and everything.
JAMES STINETTE: Sure. As I said at the beginning, we don’t really do anything different as far as the construction technique. It’s still made on the tufting machine, which is essentially a very large sewing machine. It’s 12 ft. wide. It has a lot of needles through it and yarn is fed through it. So it’s the same process as what everyone else does. We just choose to replace the synthetic materials that everyone else uses with a wool faced fiber. So if you look at the top of the card, it has wools. It’s British wool. It’s the longest lasting, most resilient fiber available.
It’s naturally colored. So just like your hair color, maybe your family, they all have same hair color, let’s say. We choose sheep that has similar hair color from similar family range and breeds. We combine those to get our coloration. So there are no dyes or chemicals put on there, no moth proofing. The sheep are just free ranging out on the hills as they have been for thousands of years literally in the UK.
DEBRA: Literally, they have. Sheep are a big thing in the UK.
JAMES STINETTE: Definitely, and this is…
DEBRA: Yeah, here in America, we don’t see sheep on the hillsides like you see it in the UK.
JAMES STINETTE: Exactly! And like I say, they’ve been doing it for years and years and years. This is not a new thing.
So we take those yarns and then we put them into custom-manufactured hemp and cotton primary backing. Whereas everyone else in the industry uses polypropylene, we use a hemp and cotton primary backing. This is something I custom developed. There is nothing else like it out there. And it took a long time to develop it.
It’s not perfect. There are inconsistencies in natural materials, but that’s what gives us the texture and everything that we need, whereas you’ve got a synthetic polypropylene primary and it’s repeatable and everything is identical each and every time.
And the other thing about it is it’s not as inexpensive as a synthetic. Our backing system, just that primary, it’s four times the cost of a polypropylene primary, but it’s what we need to do to get the¬¬ natural biodegradable system that we have.
All these that I am talking about can be seen on our website under ‘Carpet Construction Diagram’. Once we placed the yarn…
DEBRA: I’m looking at that page and it’s a very good diagram.
JAMES STINETTE: Thank you, yes. As you go through that, you can see we’re going from the top down. So we’ve got the wool on the face, we’ve got the hemp and cotton primary backing and then, we’ve got the natural rubber adhesive that we use (that’s from a rubber tree and that’s what we use to replace the styrene-butadiene rubber adhesive that all other manufacturers use). And then, you have a jute secondary backing.
And here’s one thing in the industry that rubbed me in the industry. For years and years, we were the only one even pushing this, being healthy and natural and green and all these things. We don’t even use the word ‘green’ anymore. I’ve stopped using that word because it was…
DEBRA: Me too.
JAMES STINETTE: I just use ‘healthy’ because as I told you earlier, there are all these wool manufacturers, they’re telling their products as being green and eco and everything, but they don’t tell you about that styrene backing. So that’s where the crux of the matter is. That’s what makes ours different.
You can actually find wool carpets out there that don’t have dyes on them. And some don’t even have moth proofing. You flip them over, they may have a jute secondary. It’s the sandwich. It’s what in the middle of the sandwich that they don’t tell you about, that spread that’s in there that has the chemicals.
So the materials that we use, the properties of them are completely natural. They’re truly renewable, truly sustainable.
The buzz words that just drive me crazy now are ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’, those two things. And then they will have them attached to synthetic products. And I cannot, for the life of me, understand that, how they can use those words.
DEBRA: I’ve heard that a lot too. Here’s what I see. I see that there are people like you who are doing the right thing and they are doing it completely and thoroughly. They’re understanding, “This is a sustainable product and so everything about it needs to be sustainable. It needs to fit in the ecosystem of the earth.” That’s your guiding star.
But other people are coming from having done something really synthetic and then they say, “Well, let’s move in the right direction.” And they’re moving in the right direction, but they are not producing a sustainable product. They shouldn’t say that if they aren’t.
We need to go break again. We need to go to break. We will talk more when we come back. You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guest today is James Stinette. He’s the founder of Earth Weave Carpet Mills and we’re talking about this truly natural carpeting. We’ll be right back.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guest today is James Stinette, founder of Earth Weave Carpet Mills. And his website is EarthWeave.com.
James, so tell us about your padding. First tell us why we need to have carpet padding. And then, tell us about – I know you have two different carpet pads.
I always thought I don’t really need padding. And actually, I’ve never put down a carpet. I’m usually taking them up, but I do have one area rug in my house which happens to be covering an old – well, I live in Florida and the way my house was constructed, if you were to cut a hole on the floor, you would just look down on the dirt. There’s no basement or anything.
And so, central air conditioning/heating system had been installed and then they took it out, so there was a grate. You just look down in the grate (because there was a hole on the floor), you look down on the grate and you see the dirt underneath and the lizards and everything.
So I had to put something over that or replace the floor right there. And just temporarily, I just went and got a little wool area rug that I put over there. It’s still there 13 years later. But I’m thinking about getting an area rug for my living room and I thought, “Well, I don’t need a carpet pad under that.”
Tell us why we need a carpet pad.
JAMES STINETTE: We have two different paddings. One would be for installation, wall to wall and that is the wool padding that we have. In that application, it promotes resilience and longevity of the carpet.
The commercial applications, a lot of times, they do not use padding underneath. That’s more just because in commercial, there are a lot of rolling items, perhaps chairs and carts and things like that they need to pull. The padding would maybe make it a little bit softer, a little bit too cushiony.
For residential applications, a padding is actually an integral part. It’s a system. You put that under there, it gives it a great base. Ours is 40 ounces of wool. It’s firm, it’s dense, it’s not hard, but it’s resilient enough that it gives it that springiness that you need and kind of cushions the steps that you take.
DEBRA: As I’m looking at this piece of padding on your website, and I’ve been looking – oh! When you mouse over it, it gives you enlargement. That’s very nice.
As I’m looking at this and I’m looking at your carpeting, I can just imagine how good that would feel under my feet, to have that double-padding, the padding and the carpet, and walking on that and how soft that would be. I could see why people would want that.
I think I had this idea from so long ago even before you existed as a company that I don’t want to have carpet because carpet is toxic, toxic, toxic. And I’m looking at your carpet, and I am thinking, “What a wonderful, natural thing to have under my feet.”
Okay. So then, the other one is the rubber rug gripper.
JAMES STINETTE: The gripper, yes. And that’s more to be used under an area rug if someone has an area rug that may not have furniture like a coffee table or something that’s sitting on it. And it just keeps it to non-slip. It keeps it from sliding. It will not harm a wood floor. And there are some out, synthetic versions that actually do some damage to hardwood floors, but this is fine for that.
It offers a little bit of additional cushioning as well, but predominantly, it’s more of a gripper. That’s why we call it a rug gripper. It just keeps it from sliding around.
DEBRA: So here’s the next question. So then, how do people clean these carpets?
JAMES STINETTE: How do they clean it? We suggest hosed carpet cleaning. We have a link to that on our website. They have a completely natural non-toxic cleaning process. And just like our system of the padding in the carpet, we want to suggest natural things with Total Care. So that is a system that they use.
And the great thing about them is they have a home system that someone like yourself could buy for your occasional spills or stains, and then they also have professional cleaners that will come in, people with their own machineries that will come in and use the same materials.
I don’t want to use the word ‘chemical’, but there are natural materials that they have for the cleaning. They will come into your home and do a thorough cleaning if you have a wall-to-wall carpeting. Those guys are nationwide. So that’s why we like to recommend them. Not only are they completely natural and non-toxic, but they have a nationwide system to do this.
DEBRA: Excellent! I didn’t know about them and I am very happy to hear about them because I know that some people still do have carpet and at least, they could clean their carpet in a more natural way and eliminate that toxic exposure from the normal carpet cleaning.
So it looks like you’ve got everything figured out here. That’s so great.
JAMES STINETTE: Not everything. We’re trying, but not everything.
DEBRA: So what about people who are chemically sensitive?
JAMES STINETTE: Well, that’s a huge part of our market. People buy our rugs and we have tons and tons of repeat customers. It’s odd.
In the last week, we had three or four inquiries. Actually, someone said they bought our carpet four years ago in remodel. They’re putting it in again. They love it. And someone else is like eight years ago and they bought another house.
Those people that don’t want to be exposed to these chemicals are those who buy our products. And there are people that either knows they’re chemically sensitive and can’t be around. There are other people that don’t want to expose their kids to the chemicals that are out there.
So that’s our main clientele; those who seek this out. They do the research and they find out that there is a difference in our products and everything else that’s out there.
DEBRA: Your product really is different than everything out there. I can really see that. There was another question I wanted to ask you and now I’ve forgotten.
Oh, I know what I want to talk about. So I know that your products are qualified for the LEAD certification. You have a comment here on your website about LEAD certification. I’m trying to find it again, so I can ask you about it. I’ll just paraphrase what I remembered.
JAMES STINETTE: That’s a sore issue with me because like I say, it’s kind of back to we don’t use the term ‘green’ and LEAD is kind of just pushing this word, this ‘green’.
When USGBC, the United States Green Building Council first started, there were companies such as myself and other truly healthy companies in there and now, it’s just overrun by the big chemical companies, the MonSantos and the insulation companies. They’re no different in the company’s products now than they were before. That’s where the money is at. So that’s the biggest thing I have, I see in the industries the term called “green-washing.”
Fortunately, you don’t really see a lot of this because I think you’re focused on the health side, but a lot of people in my industry, in the building industry, they focus on green. And that doesn’t mean anything like I say, because everything is green out there. I mean, Clorox is green. I see advertisements on TV for Clorox, and it’s green. In Exxon, your gasoline is green.
DEBRA: Yeah, I know, it doesn’t mean anything.
JAMES STINETTE: It doesn’t mean anything.
DEBRA: I think that what you had said, I’m trying to find it as I’m listening to you, is that you said something about that there’s not a difference between the ones that are – like you were talking about the Carpet Institute, that there’s not a difference between something that is unique…
JAMES STINETTE: They don’t reward people or companies like our product. They don’t actually reward someone for putting in a truly natural, truly sustainable healthy product…
DEBRA: That was the point.
JAMES STINETTE: You get the same number of points as if you were to put in a synthetic that just meets the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Green Label Plus Program. It doesn’t mean they don’t have chemicals on it. It doesn’t mean it’s healthy. It’s just means that it meets their criteria.
DEBRA: And I’m wanting to particularly make the point about this because this isn’t the only certification program that does this. I’ve been saying this about other certification programs like GREENGUARD and other ones we were talking about the other day where you can’t just look at the certification and say, “Oh, this certification means this,” because there are no gradations that then can point out what’s at the top and what really is green. It just all falls into one category and so, you can’t tell the difference. And that’s the problem for me with all those certifications. You can’t just really find out what is the best one. So I sympathize with you.
JAMES STINETTE: Unfortunately, it’s big business. It’s big business and that’s where the money is going. We know that.
DEBRA: Yeah. And so, it kind of becomes meaningless. That’s too bad because I think that people really need it.
JAMES STINETTE: And the big thing we fight against is green-washing, the levels of green and shades of green. Maybe we’re too far to the purist side, but I don’t feel like there are any levels…
JAMES STINETTE: There is either green and healthy, which is natural, or there’s not. How can you have something that’s synthetic in all these chemicals? Take the BPA. They’re now finding out in the plastic drinking bottles and all these things. For a long time it was there, it was safe – I shouldn’t say ‘safe’, it was allowed. And now, they’re finding out that it shouldn’t have been allowed. So why would you trust these people?
DEBRA: I understand what you’re saying, that either it should be allowed or it shouldn’t be allowed. We are always finding out some things, more things about toxic chemicals. And so if something shouldn’t be allowed, it still shouldn’t be allowed. I get what you’re saying.
Anyway, we’re coming to the end of our hour. Thank you so much for being with me. It’s been a pleasure to talk to you again. My guest has been James Stinette from Earth Weave Carpet Mills. His website is EarthWeave.com.
I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. This is Toxic Free Talk Radio. Be well.
JAMES STINETTE: Thank you.