Which requirements must surface materials meet in order to survive in the hotel industry? Clearly, they need to have a number of talents. This means that they must look good and be comfortable. In addition, however, the aspects of durability and ease of cleaning, as well as environmentally friendly production, also play an important role for designers and interior decorators when selecting materials for hotels, restaurants or bars.
Precisely this trend was reflected in many of the exhibits at this year’s EquipHotel in Paris. Continental took the opportunity to position itself as an innovation driver and pioneer in sustainability at the trade show. “The EquipHotel is the best fair in France when it comes to hospitality. It’s the perfect place to meet customers, in particular French customers such as architects and industrial partners,” explains Christelle Perico-Darras, head of Hospitality, Healthcare and Public Areas sector at surface specialists Continental.
The surface specialist brought along its skai® VyP Coffee upholstery fabric, among others, to the EquipHotel. Recycled and natural components are used in the production of this particular material. What is revolutionary, however, is that Continental has succeeded in incorporating coffee grounds into the production process. This not only cuts down waste, but also prevents greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide from being produced. In total, more than 65 percent of conventional chemical raw materials are replaced by natural and recycled components in the production of skai® VyP Coffee. This has no effect on its look and feel – quality, comfort and appearance remain the same all round. laif technology makes the cover fabric particularly breathable and also ensures a high level of seating comfort wherever people spend significant periods of time, such as in hotels or restaurants.
“Our sustainable product innovations have a great deal to offer the hospitality industry. In this sense, we’re aware of our responsibility and are replacing fossil raw materials with natural and renewable components, minimizing CO2 emissions along the entire value chain and focusing on durable products and solutions. And all this without losing sight of the design aspect. On the contrary, we are also providing new impetus here, as well as setting color accents,” says Perico-Darras.
The sustainable bio synthetic leather skai® Evida also impressed due to its sustainability at the EquipHotel. With its highly abrasion-resistant and flame-retardant surface, it is ideal for a wide range of upholstery applications in the demanding hospitality sector. With this bio-synthetic product, 80 percent of the components used consist of natural and renewable raw materials. Moreover, skai® Evida with an organic cotton backing is certified according to Oeko-tex Standard 100 – and it is not only its sustainability and design that impress. Its surface is also extremely robust, resistant to disinfectants and flame retardant. Nonetheless, no compromises whatsoever have to be made with regard to comfort. “We clearly sensed that sustainable products were of particular interest to the visitors at the show,” says Lucas Peiffer, head of Healthcare & Public Areas, Western Europe at Continental. Environmentally friendly solutions and materials are absolutely on the rise.
In addition to the two products skai® VyP Coffee and skai® Evida, Continental also presented its staynu technology at the EquipHotel. This is a surface finish that makes the material extremely resistant to soiling and therefore very easy to clean. A special coating seals the surface so that stains have no chance of sticking to the material. If they do, however, they are unable to penetrate deeply into it. Stubborn soiling with ballpoint pens, ketchup, red wine, coffee or lipstick can thus be removed easily during cleaning. With suitable disinfectants, even bacteria and viruses can be effortlessly eliminated from the innovative surface.
Despite lower than pre-pandemic visitor numbers, the head of the Hospitality, Healthcare and Public Areas sector at Continental, Christelle Perico-Darras, looks back positively on the trade show: “The EquipHotel is and remains one of the most important trade shows in the hospitality sector. Not only do numerous premium manufacturers exhibit there, but the quality of the contacts made was also very good. We are really looking forward to finding out what will come out of the discussions.”