Ray C. Anderson’s legacy as a champion of textile sustainability continues to have value today. Michael Quante interviews John A. Lanier, about Ray's legacy today and how it has unfolded through the Ray C. Anderson Foundation.
Making textile sustainability a priority isn’t easy. Textile companies have struggled to implement sustainable development principles into the creation of their products, which can involve major changes in manufacturing practices. This encompasses all aspects of the supply chain and includes end-of-life (EOL) disposal.
The drive towards textile product sustainability began to take shape in the early 1990s, although the basic concept has been around for much longer. The modern definition was created by a UN committee’s report in 1987. Sustainable development was defined as that which “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
A carpet industry CEO, Ray C. Anderson of Interface, Atlanta, GA, USA, answered the call for more sustainable carpet industry business practices. When he founded the company in 1973, Anderson realized the potential of manufacturing and selling carpet tiles. His business grew and became highly successful.