Heritage Carpets has a proudly transparent and enduring relationship with our partners, modulyss, Bentley Mills and Fletco. Part of that transparency means we undertake to visit their manufacturing facilities in person to see sustainable practices first-hand, showrooms to see what is trending and soon to arrive on our own shores, and spend time with the people behind the brands to maintain our trusted relationships.

Umesh, the owner of Heritage Carpets, has returned from his most recent sojourn in May/June 2023 to Europe to meet the Fletco Carpets team, check in on Belysse and press palms with modulyss. Here are his insights from the trip.



After 36 hours of flying via San Francisco and Frankfurt, Umesh landed in Billund, Denmark.

Pausing for barely an inhalation of Scandi springtime air, the boss dashed off to Herning, a town in the Central Denmark Region of the Jutland peninsula. Nearby, Umesh was welcomed warmly into the impressive, purpose-built Fletco Carpets headquarters. The building is home to Fletco’s offices, showroom and highly automated manufacturing facility, where they extrude and weave their own yarn.

Impressed to see first-hand the flat weave process and all waste sorted and recycled where possible, Umesh’s biggest takeaways from his visit to our Danish partners are “their passionate drive to increase their use of sustainable materials, how sleek, automated and pristine the factory is, and the incredibly warm, inclusive and friendly team”.

There was also much discussion and learning about the commercially rated wool carpet Højer Kontrakt and its applications.



From Billund Umesh headed via Copenhagen to Kortrijk, sometimes known in English as Courtrai or Courtray, a Belgian city in West Flanders. Kortrijk is well-placed geographically for easy access to both modulyss and Belysse (previously Balta). Belysse owns our partners modulyss and Bentley Mills and has manufacturing facilities on an impressive scale, with equally as impressive roof-top solar arrays. The Belysse showroom displayed emerging colour trends with a prevalence of peach-rust, deep greens and soft mint, with mid and light shades dominating. 

Travelling alongside his friends and colleagues-in-carpet Sandeep and Praveen from United Agencies Singapore, Umesh explored two Balta showrooms in Belgium, in Sint-Baafs-Vijve and Wielsbeke. Balta Rugs, previously part of the Belysse (Balta) Group, is positioned at the forefront of the machine-made rug manufacturing industry, motivating Umesh’s visit to keep ahead of the upcoming trends. The same colour trends at Balta Rugs were evident here for broadloom. Of note in the showroom were single material rugs, incredibly soft and luxe, fully recyclable and machine washable.



Umesh went on to visit modulyss’ showroom in Gent, looking to understand the layout, themes and features of this upmarket display space.

The modulyss showroom is located inside a huge, repurposed port building which has been completely modernised while retaining many of its original features. The building in itself is an inspiring example of reuse in construction.

The showroom featured clever lighting, a warm-feeling workspace, meeting rooms with calming colours and a “play area” for designers to mix and match the latest ranges on the floor.

The next stop was the modulyss factory in Zele. Umesh has visited before and was looking for new technologies and equipment to better understand the current manufacturing processes.

The tour was conducted, once again, by the learned Philip Nouens – Head of Production for modulyss. He clearly articulated some of the more recent production process innovations, including clever waste minimisation techniques. Of great interest was the discussion around energy consumption and sources.

The visit to the shredding room also raised delighted eyebrows because almost all the production waste is shredded on-site and added back to the carpet tile base.

The London showroom of modulyss was next on the list after a short train ride from French town Lille to Central London. Here the Clerkenwell Design Week was in full swing. Modulyss hosted fascinating talks on sustainability, AI in design, neurodivergent-inclusive design and a thrill of fun activities. It was great to see the latest range, Artcore, on the floor in the showroom alongside other popular collections.

The Clerkenwell Design Week flooring showrooms showed residential carpets and rugs that have a super-soft feel with a slightly glossy look. Though still prevalent in Europe, for the most part, this look has yet to reach our shores (although the shimmer of Gleam has had popularity with our New Zealand clients).

Umesh was able to observe first-hand the design trends for many interior and architectural finish materials. Of course, sustainability is a major topic, but the strong trend on waste minimisation afterlife was very prevalent and made up part of the focus of the entire trip for Umesh.




Heading to Italy, Umesh’s last stop was Aquafil in Arco to visit the plant where the 100% regenerated nylon known as Econyl was effectively “born”. This cradle-to-cradle yarn manufacturing process negates the need for oil-based raw products so is an important evolution to mitigate climate change. ECONYL is used in the lion’s share of our partners’ carpet yarns.

Opened in 1969, this plant is the oldest Aquafil production site and home to its industrial activities and Group headquarters. Built-in the delicate natural environment of Alto Garda, this plant has been a benchmark for the Group’s environmental policies, with programmes to reduce the environmental impact of its operations regularly implemented. For example, 100% of their electricity is from renewable sources and much of it is self-generated. 

Originally a mechanical recycling system to break down and re-extrude spent nylon material, Aquafil now uses a closed-circle chemical process, the bane of which is contaminants. Material to be recycled is typically 15-20% carpet fluff waste and 50% post-consumer. 25%+ of that is discarded/lost/damaged fishing nets, for the most part, recovered by Healthy Seas in conjunction with Ghost Diving organisations globally (the New Zealand arm of which Heritage Carpets is a regular donor).

Aquafil is working with modulyss to trial new machines to separate used carpet yarn more efficiently from its backing to ensure as much carpet is recycled as possible. Aquafil is working with manufacturers like modulyss to guide them to design carpets made to be disassembled and recycled at the end of life more simply and with less resulting by-products.

Apart from the continuous evolution of sustainable practices, Umesh was impressed to learn that in the European Union textiles will soon be legislated to meet certain standards. They must be made to be recyclable, robust and repairable, with controls on greenwashing and the release of microplastics and the export of textile waste will be halted. 



Tired but inspired, Umesh landed back in New Zealand with a cache of imagery and video to share with the team to keep us updated on our partners’ products and processes. If you’d like to know more about the trip, the manufacturing processes, sustainability initiatives or emerging trends, Umesh will be pleased to share upon request.

Contact us to find out more.