Keith Woodason | Global Industry Development Manager
Inas Soliman | Account Manager, Latex Binders
For The Oriental Weavers Group, the world's largest producer of carpet and area rugs with manufacturing and distribution facilities on five continents, that partnership has blossomed over the 30 years, the companies have invested in innovative, tailored latex binder solutions.
Building a Partnership
Oriental Weavers, headquartered in Cairo, Egypt, opened in 1979 with a single loom. Since then, it has become one of the leading producers of machine-made carpets and rugs.
Trinseo Account Manager for Latex Binders, Inas Soliman, has worked with Oriental Weaver’s Chief Executive Officer Yasmine Khamis to build the partnership since 1989 when Trinseo was first contracted as a latex binder provider. Soliman describes Khamis’ leadership as hands-on, with the thoughtful guidance of someone who understands the carpet and rug market.
"Yasmine is very involved, and you can always find her in the showroom," said Soliman. "She's there with her employees, checking the carpets and asking about manufacturing. She's a wonderful leader who knows the business and her customers."
Soliman describes the relationship with Oriental Weavers as more of a family bond than a professional network – a distinction that has enabled the companies to develop and grow together throughout the decades. This relationship, which she describes as a pillar of Trinseo’s business model, creates open communication to address the carpet and rug manufacturer’s needs today, as well as enable innovation for the future.“It’s more of a partnership,” said Soliman. “We’ve grown together, and we have open discussions about their needs, such as product sustainability.”
Planning for the Future
“We’re working closely with our partner companies, like Oriental Weavers, to project their needs three to five years ahead,” said Trinseo Global Industry Development Manager Keith Woodason. “It all starts with relationships because people drive innovation, and for us, that means understanding how our customers are using our products and how they can be used most effectively. So it’s a partnership.”
As sustainability efforts have become a driving factor for many companies, Trinseo has been adapting its latex binders business to meet those needs. Woodason noted that improving the circularity of products and making progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are two priorities that have been at the forefront for many companies.
At Oriental Weavers, one sustainability topic that has been addressed is the reduction of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), emissions from the latex binder during the tufting process of carpet and rug making. Long-term exposure to VOCs has been shown to cause various health problems, including difficulty breathing; eyes, ears, nose irritation; nausea; and nervous system damage. As a result, Trinseo has worked with Oriental Weavers to develop a low VOC latex binder that meets both companies’ sustainability efforts.
“The carpet industry is on the cutting edge of sustainability,” said Woodason. “Many things have been done to improve the circularity of carpet, but there’s still much more work to do.”
By working together, Trinseo and Oriental Weavers have developed more sustainable—yet durable— carpets and rugs that serve customers' needs around the world. For both Soliman and Woodason, this represents how a strong, long-term materials-client relationship benefits both companies.“It’s a win-win situation,” said Soliman. “We work together to create a better product that meets customer needs.”