Image courtesy of Homeboy Industries
Homeboy Industries offers job training in the food service industry for formerly gang involved and previously incarcerated.

Spotlight On: Bentley Mills Social Sustainability Programs

Aug. 8, 2023
Bentley Mills’ NeoCon debuts have done more than just wow attendees with their high-fashion breed of carpet designs these past few years—they’re inspiring them to leave the world a better place than they found it.
If you didn’t know it, the NeoCon introductions from Bentley Mills you’ve been loving lately have quite the back story.

The carpet giant has been punching up these lines by quietly partnering with various nonprofits, using them as design inspiration, giving each a special meaning all its own. Over the years these partnerships have included the Youth Cinema Project, inspiring the Modern Curator collection with the concept of seeing the world through other people’s lenses, and Create Now, where Bentley sponsored a bus tour for kids to see museums and other cultural institutions, leading to the Day Tripper collection.

By specifically seeking out these local organizations that would make an impact on the surrounding Los Angeles County community they call home, Bentley has been able to enrich their designs by making life sweeter for those in need.


“We prioritize and cherish this aspect of social sustainability,” explained Victoria deVuono, Bentley’s VP of product and marketing. “We bring it to NeoCon every year to serve as a model and inspire others.”

For 2023, the company pulled from the ongoing support they provide for the LA Food Bank as well as a new-found partnership with Homeboy
Industries—a nonprofit that provides job training for formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated people in the food industry, giving them a new lease on life as they become contributing members of society again. It serves 10,000 people each year, with more than 300 jobs and training opportunities across their 12 Homeboy Social Enterprises, which include Homeboy Bakery, Homegirl Café, Homebody Farmers Market and much much more.

The result was the Culinary Collection, on display back in June at the Bentley Mills Chicago showroom on Kinzie, across from THE MART.

“A chef’s work is so close to a designer’s work,” deVuono said. “Both create an end product for the enjoyment of others.” The line is comprised of three styles: “On the Block” features a deep texture and is reminiscent of the nicks and grooves of a well-worn butcher block; “From Scratch” has a large-scale, multidirectional pattern; “Serve It Up” is a more reserved aesthetic which raises up the importance of simplicity and savoring a flavor, one bite at a time.

Bentley Mill’s financial and volunteer support for Homeboy Industries will include a variety of initiatives including bringing food from Homeboy Bakery to Bentley’s City of Industry, Calif. homebase and sponsoring their 5k run set for September.

About the Author

AnnMarie Martin | Editor-in-Chief

AnnMarie has been covering the commercial design space since 2005 and has been on the editorial staff at i+s since 2011. Her style and vision has helped the brand evolve into a thought leader in purpose-driven design and cultural movements shaping the way we live and work. She returned to the role of editor in chief at the start of 2023 and her journalism and fiction writing background have helped to craft bi-monthly issues that don’t just report the latest industry news, but tell a cohesive tale of some of the biggest topics facing designers today.

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