All posts by Chris Laude

Warm welcome for Farmers

We had the privilege of welcoming members of the Ulster Farmers’ Union Beef & Lamb Committee to our headquarters in Portadown recently.

The members learned all about how wool is integral to every carpet we weave and how we promote the benefits of this amazing material at every opportunity.

Every year we buy around 2.5 million kilos of wool a year, which is the equivalent of 1.47 million fleeces. We predominately use British and Irish wool which is all purchased in line with the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare and The International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) guidelines.

During their behind the scenes tour they got to see how wool is woven into luxury carpets that are used in homes, hotels, casinos and cruise ships across the world.

David Acheson, Strategic Development & Finance Director, “We welcomed the opportunity to showcase our company to these local farmers and show how local wool is being used in our carpets.
“Wool is an amazing natural and renewable fibre, with inherent qualities of durability, ease of cleaning, and beautiful softness that make it the perfect choice for use in our world class carpets.”

Ulster Carpets | Olivia Mehaffey Sponsorship Extension

Olivia Mehaffey Sponsorship Extension

We are delighted to extend our sponsorship with professional golfer, Olivia Mehaffey.

Nick Coburn, Managing Director of Ulster Carpets, said, “We have supported Olivia since she turned professional in 2021 and we are look forward to seeing where the next steps on her journey take her.

“Olivia continues to be a positive role model and we are particularly supportive of her determination to inspire more young women in sport.”
Olivia added, “I am delighted to continue my sponsorship with Ulster Carpets. It is very special to me having the support of such a successful local company. I look forward to continue to represent Ulster Carpets on tour around the world.”

Next up for Olivia is the Aramco Team Series at the Centurion Club, St Albans from 14th-16th July.

Sustainability Banner Image

Sustainability targets confirm our commitment to Net Zero

Ulster Carpets have set a series of ambitious targets in our drive to become Net Zero.

Marking our 85th anniversary this year, we are already the world’s premier supplier of Axminster and Wilton carpets to the world market. But protecting the planet remains of key importance, as outlined in our first Sustainability Strategy.

Nick Coburn, Group Managing Director at Ulster Carpets, explained, “As a third-generation company, our ethos is built on family and community values. These were attributes that my Grandfather instilled in Ulster Carpets when he established the company in Portadown in 1938.

“That same commitment is vital in protecting our planet and providing a long term, sustainable future for the generations that follow. We already have a proven track record as industry innovators and this report underpins our credentials as a sustainable company driving the change that our sector needs.”

The new report outlines five key targets to be met by 2025, including:

Beverley Copeland, Director Organisation Development at Ulster Carpets, added, “While sustainability and efficiency has been an important part of our history, by setting these key targets we are outlining our firm commitment to the future.

“We have already made some significant developments to reduce our waste and cut our energy and water usage but, as a company and an industry, we know there is still a lot of important work to be done.

“We are determined to continue on this important journey towards Net Zero and to ensure that we can provide a more sustainable future that will last for another 85 years and beyond.”

For more information download our Sustainability Report 

NI business leaders put down marker of diversity and inclusion at Ulster Carpets

Ulster Carpets and Diversity Mark this week hosted a roundtable event with guest speaker Sir David Sterling focusing on how industry leaders can embed a culture of Allyship and positively change environments and behaviours within the workplace.

With over 150 signatories to date, Diversity Mark offers accreditation, expert support and guidance to organisations navigating the Diversity and Inclusion landscape.

Speaking at the event Nick Coburn, Managing Director and Deputy Chairman of Ulster Carpets, said: “We are delighted to host this roundtable discussion with Diversity Mark and to hear the experiences of many other manufacturers on the changing cultures and behaviours around inclusion.

“For over 85 years, we have prided ourselves on the employment opportunities that we have offered and the creation of an environment that rewards ambition and recognises talent. Inclusion and diversity is an ongoing process and we will be working alongside Diversity Mark to continue on that journey.”

A central theme to emerge from guests, which included Almac, Unicorn Group, Hyster Yale, Smiley Monroe, ABC Council, BDO, Finnebrougue, McQuillan’s Companies and Yellow Door, was that value-based leadership is essential for a better working environment and a more effective organisation.

Commenting, Nuala Murphy Director Diversity Mark, said: “The main outcome from the event today is that everyone is on a journey and ultimately wants their employees to be the best they can be. However a deeper cultural shift is required to help embed a culture of allyship, equipping people with the skills and know-how to do better. Research tells us that there is a 20% perception gap between how inclusive C-Suite executives felt their organisation was versus how included employees actually felt. We can offer the support and guidance to an organisation as they embark upon their equality, diversity and inclusion journey by sharing the knowledge and expertise from our team and our generous community of leaders in this space.

“Key to Diversity Mark is fostering a culture where real conversations can happen enabling employees to feel valued and included. This must be implemented from the top down and our independently assessed accreditation journey will give any workplace a process to follow and an accountability framework to work towards. The panel is made up of experienced independent assessors who each have an array of sector knowledge and real world experience across diversity and inclusion, implementing best practices and seeing the positive results first hand, time and time again.”

For more information visit:



Gold Award for Going Green at Ulster Carpets

Ulster Carpets have been named as one of Northern Ireland’s most sustainable businesses.

The Portadown-based luxury carpet manufacturer achieved Gold level in the 2022 Northern Ireland Environmental Benchmarking Survey, organised by responsible business network Business in the Community (BITC).

Beverley Copeland, Director of Organisation Development, said, “We are delighted to have progressed from the Silver level we attained last year to now receive Gold. We have always had strong environmental strategies and procedures in place and this result shows the progression that we have made in the last 12 months.

“This year we have added to our 100% wool carpet ranges with the launch of Open Spaces Ragan and Napier and Natural Choice Textures and we also continue to make improvements to make our manufacturing processes more efficient.

“We will continue to build on this success and will soon launch our first official Sustainability Report that will outline the important next steps that we will take on our sustainability journey.”

Sponsored by Moy Park and supported by Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, the Survey scores, recognises, and rewards organisations that are going above and beyond their legal environmental requirements.

Kieran Harding, Managing Director of Business in the Community, said: “The Survey is an important comparison tool and a way for organisations to not only be recognised for their environmentally sustainable efforts, but also to identify areas where they can improve. It serves to highlight key environmental areas they need to be thinking about for the future.”

Mr Harding continued: “Stakeholders, suppliers and the general public are seeking reassurance from businesses that they’re doing all they can for the benefit of the environment and participating in the Survey can provide evidence of their commitment to a greener future.

“I want to congratulate and thank all companies that have stepped forward to take part in the Survey and report on their environmental practices.”

The Results Launch Event was part of BITC’s Environment Symposium, which brought NI businesses together to network and explore complex issues around environment, biodiversity and climate action.

To read the full report visit

Ulster Carpets | Platinum Jubilee design competition

Emily puts the finishing touches to her Jubilee rug design

The winner of the Northern Ireland’s Office Platinum Jubilee design competition, Emily McMullan age 11 from Dundonald Primary School, has visited Ulster Carpets to help turn her design into a special gift for Her Majesty the Queen.

Emily was invited to meet the designers at Ulster Carpets after she was announced as the winner of the competition by Northern Ireland Minister of State Conor Burns during a special ceremony at Hillsborough Castle last month.

During her visit, Emily was given a tour of the factory by Ulster Carpet designers Sarah Healy and Sinead Tumilty, discussing her design and learning how it is being turned into a special gift for Her Majesty the Queen.

Minister of State for Northern Ireland Conor Burns accompanied Emily on her visit at Ulster Carpets, seeing some of the quality work and expertise that has seen the manufacturing company granted a Royal Warrant by Her Majesty.

Primary schools across Northern Ireland were offered the opportunity to take part in a unique competition to design a “snapshot” of Northern Ireland as part of this year’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Emily’s design was chosen from over 2000 colourful and creative entries to the Northern Ireland Office competition, from children in schools from every county in Northern Ireland.

Once completed the specially designed jubilee rug will be delivered to Her Majesty the Queen as a gift from the children of Northern Ireland in her Jubilee year.

Speaking about her design and her visit, competition winner Emily McMullan said:

“I was very surprised to win the competition as there were so many other good entries. I did the design in my art class at school and I wanted to add as many places as possible that reminded me of home.

“I really enjoyed my visit to Ulster Carpets and learning how they design and make carpets. It has made me think about being a designer when I’m older.”

Discussing Emily’s design, Ulster Carpets designer Sinead Tumilty said:

“Emily’s design shows a snapshot of multiple recognisable landmarks and structures from across Northern Ireland.

“The composition has been confidently and creatively considered, demonstrating a strong but refined illustrative style with a thoughtful use of colour, line work and shading. This artwork has multiple elements which make it identifiable to Northern Ireland and Emily should be very proud.”

Speaking after the visit, Minister of State Conor Burns said:

“It is amazing to see Emily’s brilliant design beginning to come to life through the work of the talented designers at Ulster Carpets.

“Emily should be incredibly proud of her effort which showcases some of the very best of Northern Ireland’s beautiful and well known places.

“I look forward to seeing Emily and Ulster Carpets work being presented to the Royal Household later this year as a gift to mark the incredible and historical 70 years of service of the Queen.”

IMAGE: Working on her rug design for Her Majesty the Queen is Platinum Jubilee Design competition winner, Emily McMullan, with Northern Ireland Minister of State Conor Burns and Carpets designers Sarah Healy and Sinead Tumilty. Photography by PressEye

Minister of State Conor Burns & Managing Director of Ulster Carpets with competition winner Emily McMullan & finalist Thomas Porter. Also finalist Fiadh Rose Kelly's design

Emily wins Platinum Jubilee competition.

Minister of State for Northern Ireland Conor Burns has announced the winner of the Northern Ireland Office’s Platinum Jubilee design competition

Emily McMullan, age 11 from Dundonald Primary School was revealed as the winner after she, and her fellow finalists, were invited to a special ceremony at Hillsborough Castle.

Emily’s design was chosen from over 2000 colourful and creative entries to the competition, from children in schools from every county in Northern Ireland.

Emily was joined in the final three by Fiadh Rose Kerr, age 6 from Omagh Integrated Primary School and Thomas Porter, age 8 from St Joseph’s Primary School.

Emily will visit Ulster Carpets later in the summer, working with their professional designers to turn her ‘snapshot’ into a wonderful rug.

Once completed the specially designed jubilee rug will be delivered to Her Majesty the Queen as a gift from the children of Northern Ireland in her Jubilee year.

Minister of State for Northern Ireland Conor Burns said:

“I’ve been overwhelmed by the truly amazing artistic and illustrative talent that I have seen in response to the Northern Ireland Office’s Platinum Jubilee Rug competition.

“Emily’s design shows some of the very best of Northern Ireland, with its well known landmarks instantly recognisable and synonymous with this beautiful place.

“I can’t wait to see Emily and the designers at internationally recognised Northern Ireland manufacturer Ulster Carpets bring the winning design to life over the summer ahead of the rug to be presented to the Royal Household as a gift to mark the incredible and historical 70 years of service of the Queen.

“I’m incredibly proud of Northern Ireland’s young people – from schools in every county here – and grateful to their parents and teachers who have helped make this idea such a success. Thank you all.”

Group Managing Director of Ulster Carpets Nick Coburn said:
“We are delighted at the wonderful artistry shown by primary school children across Northern Ireland and the fantastic response to the design competition.

“Selecting a winner was an extremely difficult task and we can now look forward to transforming Emily’s wonderful design into a rug for Her Majesty The Queen.”

Headmaster of Dundonald Primary Julian Byers said:

“We are delighted that Emily’s picture has been chosen as the winner. Her magnificent drawing, showing the iconic landmarks of Northern Ireland, transformed into a rug, will be a lasting memory of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, taking pride of place in Buckingham Palace.”

Minister of State Conor Burns & Ulster Carpet designers Sarah Healey & Sinead Tumilty with competition winner Emily McMullan.IMAGE: Minister of State Conor Burns & Ulster Carpet designers Sarah Healey & Sinead Tumilty with competition winner Emily McMullan.