Raising awareness in an ‘eco-creative’ way: the Awareness Award

While many other valuable initiatives in the carpet industry are focusing on finding industrial solutions to handle post-industrial and post-consumer waste and to convert waste into reusable raw materials or into secondary fuel, AW wants, on top of that, to develop and support initiatives focusing on the upcycling process of carpet waste.

AW’s belief in upcycling solutions inspired the company to organise “the Awareness Award” a competition open to students specializing in art, design, architecture and fashion. The Award is encouraging young designers to up-cycle old carpet material by finding new, valuable uses for them when they have reached the end of their useful life.

The quality of the submissions that AW received for the first three editions (2010; 2011; 2012) of the Award  made it clear to the company that the design community holds the values of environmental sustainability very dear. More than 200 innovative, beautiful new products clearly prove that value can be generated from old and used carpet. And although AW is aware of the fact that this approach is not the ultimate solution to absorb carpet waste, the management is convinced that sensibilising product development people and designers to consider carpet waste as valuable components in their creative work, will generate positive effects.

The AW Awareness Award started in 2010 as a contest open to Belgian colleges and academies. In 2012 more than 100 students from 10 reputed colleges and universities throughout Europe participated in the third edition of the contest.