More than meets the eye
Hello fabulous people.
I wonder how your plastic-free July is going and what single use items are you choosing to refuse. I know it can seem daunting but baby steps is all it takes. As it is plastic-free month, it feels wrong to write about a collection of rugs made from recycled plastic bottles as I had planned (the images of plastic islands are not only floating around the oceans but also my head...). So instead I've chosen this rug, produced by the same company, Recycled Mats, that responds beautifully, I think, to another world-wide issue. Can you guess what I'm talking about? Read on to find out....
Recycled Mats are more than producers of stunning rugs - they are an Australian business committed to ethical, sustainable, fair-trade practices through making high-quality products that solve environmental and societal problems. Not only do they operate their head office with 100% solar power (easy in Australia, says a kiwi pretty bored of the rain & cold), use 100% rainwater (now that would be easy in NZ), they reuse and recycle all their packaging. Aren't they great?
The Chindi Rug, shown here is handmade in India with cotton, denim & jute offcuts from the fashion/furniture industries - is that what you guessed? These offcuts are first woven into rope, then joined together to form these rugs. Each Chindi is one of a kind and each one helps rural Indian communities by providing work, keeping their artisan skills in use, as well as reducing the amount of waste coming from the nearby textile factories.
I think this is a brilliant response to the global issue of textile waste and something more manufacturers should be inspired to do, (hint hint, you manufacturers out there!) The countries where most textiles are made simply don't have the infrastructure to deal with the resulting excess materials, and as Recycled Mats proves, there is value to be found in them. Try this for more rugs in the gorgeous Chindi collection.
The collection of rugs made from recycled bottles that I was initially attracted to are their GARRIMA range, popular in thousands of pre-schools around Australia. Once again these rugs are more than meets the eye. They worked with local Indigenous artists, like Christine Slabb from Bundjalung and Yugambeh Country, to create this line of authentic indigenous designs to break down cultural barriers, start conversations and make "children from all backgrounds feel accepted and supported into adulthood". A double success.
So the next time you need a rug (to cover the borer in your rimu floor/the red wine stain in your new carpet/felt pen marks left by toddlers...) and want something truly unique and handcrafted I say check these guys out first. You'll be making a positive environmental and cultural statement that helps so many people in so many ways, will enhance your interior and won't break your bank.