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Green carpet maker Flor opens fifth retail store

Like Flor's other retail stores in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, and Santa Monica, the Dallas store will offer a recycling drop-off for customers to return worn Flor items.

Flor's Warm Welcome carpet in the color "gold leaf."

Flor, the green carpet manufacturer, announced Thursday that it's opened a fifth brick-and-mortar store, this one in Dallas.

Like its other retail stores in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, and Santa Monica, the Dallas Flor store will offer a recycling drop-off for customers to return worn Flor items.

Flor sells carpets that are made from either wool or mostly renewable and recycled content, with an end goal of eventually making all its carpets entirely from sustainable materials.

In an age when most carpeting comes with a high amount of unhealthy VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), FLOR carpets also either meet or exceed the Carpet and Rug Institute's Green Label Plus standard for low VOS.

Flor's online store offers samples through the mail, as well as software that lets customers build their own custom rugs and carpet options. Its FlorBuilder tool enables customers to mix different textures and materials while staying within a given square footage and viewing how the various mixes will look against different flooring options such as bamboo or dark oak.

Like the furniture giant Ikea, Flor enables DIY assembly to keep down cost, offering detailed instructions, specific tools, and materials to properly install its carpeting. However, Flor also offers a sliding scale of services, including design advice, precut custom kits, and full on-site installation in several cities.

The carpet squares come in varying sizes and shapes (not just 1 square foot), and range in price from $10 to $40 per square, with area rugs ranging from about $365 to $1,596 depending on size, and sales offering some tiles for as low as $5.99 each. The Manx plush all-wool line, for example, offers large $40 tiles that come out to about $15 per square foot.

Close-up of the pile on Flor's all-wool Manx carpeting. Flor

The Flor Web site, as well as its mail-order catalog, features luxurious spaces with interesting architecture, Barcelona chairs, and leather wing chairs with brass tacks. It also offers up-close looks at each type of carpet's pile and thickness.

But it remains to be seen whether the carpeting will live up to the site's hype, or, in person, feel like the discount carpet squares of yesterday popularly used in basements and college dorm rooms.

The store is owned by Interface, whose CEO, Ray Anderson, has made it his mission to reinvent industrialism by finding ways to be profitable while eliminating waste, sourcing sustainable materials, and cutting manufacturing energy costs.

Anderson spoke at TED in 2009 and has written several books on his Mission Zero, a plan to attempt to convert his industrial empire into one with a carbon footprint of zero by 2020. He calls it radical industrialism, and has created as a resource for others wishing to do the same thing.