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Ball & Young invites industry to join its 40th anniversary celebrations

THIS year marks the 40th anniversary of Ball & Young. The company was founded in 1983 by Martin Ball and Jim Young, and is based at Corby Enterprise Zone, where it has been located since the redevelopment of the area.

Ball & Young is part of The Vita Group and was originally launched with The Royal Leaders Collection, a rubber sponge collection of underlays.

Says the company: ‘The success of The Royal Leaders Collection saw the company’s reputation for excellence grow, and the Ball & Young name became synonymous in the marketplace for high quality products and reliable service.

‘From its inception the company continued to grow in sales and reputation, which brought it to the attention of British Vita (now The Vita Group), who saw the opportunity to diversify their product portfolio. In 1989 Ball & Young was purchased by the worldwide foam and fibre giant.’

By 1995 Ball & Young was ready to launch its industry pioneering product, Cloud 9 – described by the company as the revolutionary underlay that was a gamechanger for the sector.

The underlay is made from foam trim offcuts, shredded and re-bonded into new foam underlay and was the start of Ball & Young’s long history of ‘working sustainably’. Unveiled at the NEC Birmingham, Cloud 9 went on to win an award for best new product in the marketplace.

Continues the company: ‘Cloud 9 underlay by Ball & Young truly is sustainability in action. The concept of preventing unwanted trim and offcuts from furniture, mattress manufacturing and automotive industries, which would ordinarily have been sent to landfill, being recycled and repurposed into carpet underlay.

‘100% of the trim generated within The Vita Group, is reused and repurposed, including the trim from Vita Group customers – which we call the ‘take-back off-cut initiative’. This means Vita is a net consumer of trim and stops 20Kt of trim foam going to landfill each year. More than 250Kt of foam trim has been diverted from landfill to date.’

Ball & Young aim to achieve net zero CO2 emissions no later than 2050 and zero to landfill by 2040. Since March 2021, 100% of its electricity reportedly comes from wind source, backed by REGO Certifications.

Adds the company: ‘Ball & Young’s Eco Cushion utilises reticulated PU foam – previously was sent to landfill as it couldn’t be repurposed. However, through extensive R&D work out of our state-of-the-art Innovation Centre, we’ve developed a system where a technical mix of PU in Eco Cushion allows water to pass through very efficiently, which exceeds PGA & RFU requirements.

‘The takeback off-cut initiative is now in full swing. Post fitting off-cuts are diverted away from landfill, collected from flooring contractors, then recycled back into carpet underlay.’

Ball & Young’s portfolio includes products ‘to suit many applications from wood laminates, stretch-fitted and double-stick carpet installations, including high traffic areas in commercial, hospitality and flame-retardant underlays for the marine sector’.

Ball & Young underlays are multifunctioning, says the company. ‘From underlays to support your underfloor heating system, a great Cloud 9 insulator to keep your house warmer in the colder months, or money saving underlays that help you save money and reduce your energy costs, Ball & Young has an underlay to suit everyone’s needs.’

Continues Ball & Young: ‘Our purpose and values continue to guide all that we do, whether that’s our focus on the wellbeing and safety of our staff and our customers or our ambitions to work more sustainably. As part of The Vita Group we operate a responsible, resourceful and safe business. We commit to – and invest in reducing waste, increasing recycling and reuse of raw materials, and conserving natural resources in pursuit of a net zero footprint. We’re proud of our achievements and will continue to push forwards.’

Ann Shaw, MD for Ball and Young, has been with the business 33 years, under her stewardship, the brand has ‘continued to grow and develop. Now the operations are split over three facilities, boast modern technology and are proud to have credible, verified accreditations.

‘Thanks to our customers, suppliers and most importantly our employees for making these the best 40 years we could have hoped for, a history of memories, achievements and passion. Here’s to the next 40 years and generations to follow.’

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