Our Environmental Policy
Since 1929 our factory has been located in the town of Mellau, high up in tthe Bregenzerwald Mountains in the state of Vorarlberg in Austria. As an area well-known for its skiing and hiking, our company is very aware of its environmental responsibilities. We are strongly committed to minimising the impact of our activities on the environment.
Mellau Carpets manufacture sisal flooring to the highest ethical standards by sourcing the raw materials from established plantations in East Africa where the welfare of the workforce is cared for and looked after by providing schools and healthcare amongst other benefits. Manufacturing is carried out in our factory in Austria to high ethical standards by a skilled workforce, in compliance with Eco-Tex® Standard 100 (German: Oeko-Tex®). Our products fulfil stringent test criteria and comply fully with all relevant legal requirements, codes of practice and regulations.
Sustainable Sisal Production
The East African sisal used by Mellau is harvested from the leaves of the agave plant. About 50 leaves are cut per plant per year. During the first 4 years, the plant is cut twice annually. Only one cutting is taken in the following years until the plant dies at 8 to 10 years. A total of about 300 leaves may be harvested during the economic life of each plant, resulting in a total of 500 to 600 tons of fibre per hectare.
The fibre extraction process begins with crushing and scraping the leaves, until the pulp is washed away, and then used as fertilizer on the fields, supplying nutrients and improving the soil structure. After washing, the fibre is graded, sorted, and hung in the sun to dry. The fibres are then beaten or brushed to remove the remaining leaf tissue and to soften and separate them. Only the highest qualty unbleached sisal fibre is used by Mellau and our sisal is not treated with pesticides or toxic stain resistant chemicals.