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March 31
The Importance of Inspiring Design Educators

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In a 2010 study from the Center for an Urban Future, architecture and design degrees were growing at a rate of 40 percent, compared to a growth of 20 percent in all other majors. It is truly inspiring that the number of design students is growing rapidly, ready to absorb the wisdom and knowledge of what we as an industry have to share.

With the growth of our industry, and as the lines between the studio and the classroom, the office and the academy continue to blur, student education in the design community is the key to our future. 

We spotlight our very own Milliken designers to reveal educators who made a difference in their life, and how they are still feel that important impact today. 

Designer Holly Nyguyen pays tribute to her international study opportunities and her professor whom she studied under:

Professor Glen Kaufman is an educator that has definitely influenced my career. I had the honor of studying under him and being a studio assistant of his at the University of Georgia, where he led the Fabric Design department in the Lamar Dodd School of Art and a study abroad program in Kyoto, Japan. He exposed his students to both fiber art as well as industry driven career paths. I owe him my gratitude for what he taught me and for the job he led me to at Milliken & Company. Having the opportunity to have a global point of view in my education has been invaluable. 

Milliken designer Ginny Jones reveals a force that has driven her work:

To me, an educator can be someone whose philosophies impact your work and therefore develop and expand your abilities as a designer. Dieter Rams has been influential to me in that sense with his “Ten Commandments” of good design. I use these fundamental principles as a wonderful “centering” device before starting on new collections.

Who inspires you to continue to evolve as a designer?

Nominate a full-time interior design educator who has impacted your career - and helped inspire you to achieve what you have today - for the 2015 IIDA Educator of the Year Award. Click here to apply by April 6. 


March 27
National Take a Walk in the Park Day

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Spring at the Milliken Arboretum, part of our global headquarters in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The 600-acre nationally recognized arboretum houses more than 500 species of plants and shrubs, many of which are rare to the state, and features a Vita Course Challenge that runs throughout the green space. 


In a 2013 study from the New York Times, people were asked to walk the same distances, one inside on a treadmill, one outside in the open air. The results: “...the volunteers reported enjoying the outside activity more and, on subsequent psychological tests, scored significantly higher on measures of vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure and self-esteem and lower on tension, depression and fatigue after they walked outside,” reports Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times.

Another study from the University of Michigan and The British Journal of Sports Medicine revels a benefit of exercising outdoors that can call to our industry directly. A spark of creativity can occur up to two hours after exercising​. Add in the landscapes and wonders of nature and the environment, and designers can understand how it can dramatically influence their work.

Walking outside not only makes us feel happy, it can also provide added benefits to help better our performance at work. 

National Take a Walk in the Park Day is Monday, March 30. We encourage you to celebrate and enjoy all that the natural world has to offer, because it is good for you and your mind. Utilize the green spaces and parks in your neck of the woods. We know it will be worth it.

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March 24
Inspiring the Next Generation: IIDA Educator of the Year

What does it take to be "Educator of the Year?"  Amy Campos, who was named IIDA Educator of the Year for 2013, shares her thoughts on the subject - exuding an undeniable passion and skill for interior design education. 

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As a designer and educator, for Amy, the future is key. One of her favorite aspects of maintaining both roles is being able to further discourse about big ideas and lay out trajectories for where design can go. It is a direct way to impact the future and contribute to what it will look like for our industry. 

Amy notes that learning is a continuous process and that she thrives in the classroom - learning from her students, just as they learn from her. One direct example: being exposed to many different generations of students provides opportunities to see different concerns from those generations. "You feel like you’re actually taking part in the future," she shares. 

Amy also emphasizes the importance of dialog and collaboration. Such beneficial tools help both Amy and her students learn from each other. Collaborative working and design innovation are open to anyone who has an opinion to offer - anyone can contribute thoughts and ideas to advance our culture and our world.

Do you know a full-time interior design educator who prioritizes​ the future of design and seeks advancements through their passion for teaching? Nominate them by April 6 for 2015 IIDA Educator of the Year. Click here to apply

Also, learn about 2014 IIDA Educator of the Year, So-Yeon​ Yoon, in Contract magazine. ​

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March 20
Lyceum Offers Easy Customization for School Environments

Learning is a journey. Often inspired by our surroundings, we decide to paint inside the lines, or perhaps, in a youthful spirit, add bold strokes of color to change our thinking. ​

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Defined as ‘gymnasium,’ the term lyceum comes from the first space used to teach by the great original educators. Students would sit on the floor and gather around the teacher in a big, open space. 

Evolving from the original Lyceum in ancient Athens, our new PVC-free carpet collection features a package of two patterns inspired by and named for the original educators  - Aristotle and Plato. Bright colors and textural intrigue encourage students to be imaginative, and accent options can incorporate school colors to foster pride and create an inspiring space for learning.  

  • Plato, a subtle textural pattern, offers the ability for neutral field flooring or bold pops of color.
  • Aristotle features the subtle texture of Plato enhanced with three stripes to incorporate custom accent colors. End users can choose from any combination of 36 bright accent colors with endless combinations used atop 16 neutral backgrounds. 

Lyceum meets the specific needs of educational settings with accent options that can incorporate school colors to foster pride. Similarly, companies can showcase brand identities and continuity with custom accent colors, all with the simplicity of a standard collection - to inspire a life-long learning environment. 

Additional collection features include:

  • Textured loop construction of Milliken-Certified WearOn® Nylon Type 6,6
  • 1 m x 1 m tiles with ComfortPlus® ES Cushion Backing
  • Total Recycled Content of 26%
  • Color range of 16 neutral backgrounds to highlight with 36 bright accents
  • Severe durability 

Discover the entire collection on our website​

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March 16
6 Tips to Go Green for St. Patrick’s Day

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This St. Patrick's Day, consider going green in a way that will support the environment​ and create sustainable living practices that can change the world.

Implement these six tips for a more sustainable life at home and at work. 

1. Choose eco-friendly cleaning solutions. Determine what products are best to use when cleaning carpet and upholstery​ with MilliCare's Environmental Impact Calculator.

2. Plant a tree. An average tree can absorb ​one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime.

3. Double up. Configure your office printer or copy machine so it prints on both sides of the page. 

4. Use less hot water. Washing clothes in cold or warm in place of hot water can save as much as 500 pounds of carbon dioxide every year.

5. Microwave > Oven. Use a microwave instead of the stove to save energy. Microwave ovens use around 50% less energy than conventional ovens.

6. Use one less paper napkin. Americans use approximately 2,200 paper napkins each year. If one less napkin a day was used, more than one billion pounds of napkins could be saved from landfills each year. Or, consider switching to linen

See how we at Milliken go green everyday. And enjoy another green tip if you plan on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a “cheers.”​

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March 12
Milliken's 9th Year Named as a World's Most Ethical Company

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Joe Salley, president and CEO of Milliken & Company, at the Ethisphere Institute's 2015 World Most Ethical Companies Awards.


"The world rests on principles." - Henry David Thoreau

For nine consecutive years, every year since the award was inaugurated, the Ethisphere Institute has announced Milliken to their prestigious list of companies boasting the designation as a “World’s Most Ethical Company.” 

We're honored to say that this year, 2015 is no different. And we proudly stand alongside only 15 other companies worldwide who can claim this consecutive distinction.

The World's Most Ethical Companies distinction recognizes organizations that have had a material impact on the way business is conducted by fostering a culture of ethics and transparency at every level of the company.

We deeply value this award - as it is a result of our associates' continued dedication to upholding ethics and integrity, above all else. Ethical practices are the foundation of our company and key to our success. It drives how we work, what we create, and who we partner with - so that our innovations help improve the world in material aspects.  

We extend sincere congratulations to all the other honorees this year. Thank you to Ethisphere for their recognition and commitment to advancing ethical practices.


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March 10
Inspiring Learning Environments that Work for King County Library System


"​Education​ is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mande​la

Educational environments should be conducive to learning in every facet of the design. In fact, it is scientifically proven that carpet supports students' ability to focus. We believe it should also stand up to the roughest treatment, especially that of the high-trafficked libraries within the King County Library System.

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Altered Form in the Bothell Library (left), and Federal Way 320th Library, designed with SRG Partnership (right). 

King County, the most populous county in Washington with the busiest library system in the United States​, turns to Milliken for their library floor covering needs: comprehensive projects requiring versatility, just like the libraries themselves. 

The challenges:

  • Utilize every aspect of the learning environment to ignite the imagination with technology
  • Maintain the highest performance of carpet available
  • ​Provide a healthy floor plane 

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Crossroads Library, Photo by Andrew Pogue (left), 
Vashon Library designed with Bohlin Cywinski Jackson​ (right). 

We then created solutions:

  • Bright colors and bold patterns connect sections and inspire imagination, especially within children’s areas
  • Offer the tools to create custom carpet to enable the individual voice of the King County Libraries
  • StainSmart® stain repel/resist and soil release provides easy, everyday cleaning and spot removal
  • AlphaSan® anti-microbial protection guards against bacteria and other harmful microbes
  • PVC-free standard cushion backing offers low VOC emissions, increases comfort, heightens durability, and improves acoustics by 40 percent for easy concentration

The results:

“As we create inspiring learning environments for our community, we look to partner with like-minded companies to bring our vision to life. The expansiveness of Milliken floor covering technology draws us to collaborate and, in turn, push the limits of our learning spaces.” - David Scott-Risner, Architecture and Interior Design Coordinator, King County Library System.

Explore our online image gallery for comprehensive details of the King County Library System projects and other educational installations. 

See the full case study​ on our partnership with King County Library System. 

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March 05
3 Questions to Ask to Make a Sustainable Investment in Carpet

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Floor covering should be an investment that works for you - and the environment. Ask these three questions to help ensure a sustainable investment in carpet. 

  • Is the carpet designed for longevity? When floor covering is designed for longevity, the carpet's first life is increased, and it does not need to be replaced as often. And, when it is time to replace the carpet for a new aesthetic, carpets manufactured for extreme durability can serve as floor covering long beyond the original user. It can be reclaimed for reuse - the highest form of recovery.  Just this one concept can go a long way in cost savings and lessening environment impacts. 

  • Is the carpet protected with stain repellant/resistant and soil release treatments? Defenses against soils, stains, and penetrating spills will ensure the carpet will have a beautiful and long first-life, reducing the need for a quicker replacement.

  • Is the carpet manufactured responsibly? Take note of the manufacturing process to create the carpet. Certifications, such as ISO 14040 for environmental management, ISO 14001- the highest global standard for environmental responsibility, and ISO 9000 for quality management, will give insight into quality manufacturing practices. Also, look for other third-party certifications, such as NSF 140, which assess sustainable attributes of both the product and practices used to manufacture.     

What other sustainable qualities do you look for when investing in floor covering? 

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March 03
Milliken Aviation Suitcase Drive Helps Locally Address a National Issue

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Every day, children in foster care move from home to home carrying nothing more than a plastic bag to hold their belongings.

Wanting to change this sad reality, Milliken associates took the "do good" mantra to heart and established the first-ever Milliken Aviation Suitcase Drive. 

The idea for the drive started with Tom Paulder, a pilot with Milliken Aviation. His wife is a guardian ad litem in Greenville County, and as a former social worker, she has experienced the distress of children moving from home to home with trash bags. 

"I had just attended LINK [an internal program where new Milliken employees learn about company values, heritage and disciplines], and knowing how much Milliken values doing good in communities, I thought we could help solve the problem," Tom shared. 

In November, the Department of Social Services (DSS) in Greenville and Spartanburg were in need of luggage, and therefore Tom presented the idea to host a drive to his manager. Soon, the entire company was on board and a competition between Milliken associates began. 

The challenge: to collect much needed luggage for children in Upstate South Carolina's foster care system, helping address a national issue at a local level.

Spartanburg college student Makayla Hutzell grew up in foster care, moving 13 times in three years. All of her personal belongings, from baby pictures to clothing, were put into plastic bags to move between homes. New foster placements would even throw the bags away, mistaking them for trash.​

When Makayla heard of the Milliken Aviation Suitcase Drive, she was encouraged that more people are working for the same cause in Spartanburg. It was her groundwork that resulted in the strong response from DSS, embracing more than 600 pieces of luggage from Milliken. With each foster child gaining three pieces as they are moved from home to home, more than 200 children will now leave their foster placements with dignity restored. 

Milliken worked with David White of Fostering Great Ideas​ to facilitate logistics with receiving the luggage. His organization has a similar program called "Carry On" to encourage and enable foster children to leave with pride in a very difficult situation. "Children in foster care suffer from the pain of isolation, stress from lack of a permanent home, and a loss of control," David shared. "Solutions exist, but a full community effort is required."

Partnering with organizations like DSS that work every day to better the lives of our community members is a direct way to improve our world, starting at the local level. We could not be more proud of our associates for recognizing the issue, seeing a solution, and rising to the occasion to help children in need. 

"I received so much support with just one idea," shared Tom. "It is incredible what good people can accomplish when they come together. It encourages and inspires me to do even more."

Community-wide efforts are critical to building a better tomorrow. How do you work to solve issues within your community? ​

This article originally appeared on the Milliken Innovation Blog. ​

February 26
Minneapolis Convention Center Diverts 20,000 Yards of Milliken Carpet

The Minneapolis Convention Center launched their recent renovation, diverting approximately 20,000 square yards of Milliken modular carpet from landfill.

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With four semi-truck loads full of our cushion-backed carpet tiles leaving the convention center, we're imparting the highest form of recovery with our Landfill Diversion Program – finding new homes for used carpet tiles.

​Burns & McDonnell’s Global Reuse Services, formerly Planet Reuse, is a full-service engineering, architecture, construction, environmental, and consulting solutions firm. With their help in the reclamation, the modular carpet will be available for purchase at local Minneapolis Habitat for Humanity Restores.

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Once reclamation is complete, new Milliken carpet will be installed in the convention center, completing their renovation process.​ Stay tuned for images of the newly renovated space. 

For more information on this sustainable renovation, visit Finance & Commerce.


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