Canton family takes fresh approach to carpetingBy Danny Joseph
To many people, the selection and installation of carpeting would seem to be a cut-and-dried procedure. However, Canton residents Peter Lovetere and his son Matt are bringing a fresh angle to the industry. Peter is the owner and master tradesman, and Matt is the business manager of the Carpet Workroom and Reclamation Center in Needham. The store offers the same basic services as other carpet retailers — sales, installation, and rug fabrication — but it is unique for several reasons.
The Carpet Workroom makes all of its carpets on site, so customers can see their exact specifications coming to fruition. The store houses a 12-by-30-foot carpet-binding table, multiple sewing machines for rug fabrication, and a diverse showroom of carpeting samples. With the tools of the trade on display, visitors are able to experience firsthand the craftsmanship and care that goes into the production of a custom-ordered carpet.
“This is where we’re a little more unique,” said Matt Lovetere. “We’ve got the same traditional idea with more of a workroom atmosphere.”
Matt is also at the helm of another cutting-edge initiative of the Carpet Workroom — their steadfast commitment to using recycled materials in the manufacture of their carpets.
“We are one of the first, if not the first store, to use totally recycled material for our carpets,” he said, noting that they hold on to the wool and synthetic remnants that are typically thrown away after installation.
The company later sends these materials back to mills and factories, where they are used to manufacture carpeting, car parts, or nylon products such as airbags.
Although carpet recycling has a newfound support system, Peter Lovetere has been environmentally conscious since he started managing and separating his carpeting waste in the late 1970s. He has also long been an outspoken advocate for carpet recycling.
“I’ve been talking about reclamation centers for 10 years,” Peter said. “It’s great to finally see more centers start to spring up.”
The idea of environmentally conscious carpet making has been around for years, but it has only recently become possible with the advent of new technologies.
“The technology has finally caught up to the ideas,” said Matt. “Recycled carpeting wasn’t in demand for a long time and was also extremely expensive, but now that’s changing.”
Their willingness to think outside the box has turned the Loveteres into leaders in carpet recycling initiatives on the east coast. For his part, Matt has been sitting in on a committee with the state Department of Environmental Protection in an advisory capacity. The committee is evaluating the feasibility of banning all post-consumer carpeting materials from Massachusetts landfills. The committee is still compiling data on possible costs and benefits and predicts that the legislation might be a two-year process, although Matt hopes for a quicker resolution.
This type of forward thinking and ingenuity has become the trademark of the Carpet Workroom. “All our work is based on being sustainable,” said Peter. “All of my decisions are based on trying to think progressively.”
While support for carpet recycling grows in Massachusetts, California has become the first state to pass recycled carpet legislation. California Law AB 2398, which took effect on July 1, mandates that every square yard of carpet produced in California has a 5 cent carpet stewardship fee for manufacturers. The fee is then put toward programs that further education and awareness about recycling. The next step will be the proposed implementation of “extended producer responsibility,” which requires manufacturers to take back and re-use all carpeting products.
The Carpet Workroom is embracing and promoting this influx of innovation in the carpeting industry, but the store’s uniqueness lies in the blending of these new ideas with the traditional commitment to craftsmanship.
Peter, who has been in the carpeting industry for 32 years, is a classic example of the tradesman who draws immeasurable pride from his craft. The success of his business is the culmination of many years of hard work for the master artisan, who has seen his share of ups and downs in the industry.
Several years ago, Peter almost lost his hand after cutting into his finger in an accident and subsequently contracting a nasty infection. Six months and two surgeries later, the hand was salvaged, but not without the Loveteres learning a valuable lesson.
“After the accident, we formed a corporation to protect my father, because he had always been self-employed,” said Matt. “And now, after all this time, he’s finally able to open his own store.”
Despite the injury, Peter’s enthusiasm for his work never wavered. “I am a tradesman,” he said. “The lack of being able to work with my hands was hard, but I always knew I wanted to stick with carpeting.”
About two years after Peter’s accident, the Carpet Workroom experienced a turn of good fortune when ABC’s Chronicle stumbled into a feature story about the work being done at Peter’s Reclamation Center. The exposure allowed him to expand his business and bring in his family to help modernize the operation.
Peter sees his success as a testament to the value of hard work. “I’ve always thought that when you put your head down and work hard, opportunities will come to you,” he said. “The moral of the story is that hard work will pay off.”
With Peter healthy and leading the Carpet Workroom’s team of experienced artisans, Matt is able to focus on new ways to get the store involved in the community and promote recycling and conscientious carpet production. He is currently in talks with Habitat for Humanity about the use of recycled carpets for future builds — just one of several community developing ventures for the workroom.
“More than anything, we are trying to promote the idea of recycling,” said Matt. “We are looking at the industry from another angle and seeing how we can improve things.”
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