I don’t blog to spruik products but sometimes I’ll make exceptions, and especially if the products are from a social enterprise.
Our lovely hand-hooked cotton rug is the second biggest eco-purchase we have made for our house (the first being solar panels). It’s made from up-cycled materials (off cuts from t-shirt manufacturing and used hessian rice sacks) but with a professional finish, made to last. Considering that it was painstakingly made by hand and provided a reasonable income to a family, the price was very reasonable and comparable to rugs/carpets of a similar size. The main expense was the shipping, from Cambodia where it was made to here in Australia. This was also because I ordered a difficult custom rug. I think it was the largest rug they had ever made. Oh, ‘they’ are Carpets for Communities and you can learn all about their fair trade business here: http://carpetsforcommunities.org/about-us/our-story/
It makes sense that the rugs they sell are mostly smaller than the 2.3 sq metres that I ordered. The cotton pile of the rug is quite deep and therefore provides the lovely sink-into feeling that I knew would cheer up our winter days, and provide a little luxury. It does however, mean that cleaning is a little trickier. The small rugs (and now pet beds!) are machine washable but I would need an industrial washer to cope with our large rug. Instead, as with many eco-solutions, it’s back to basics. We intend on taking the rug outside every few months for a good beating. I say ‘we’ because it can’t be lifted by one person.
So lifting the thing is a pain, but beating out the dust is kind of fun.It was also nice to inspect the backing to appreciate all the hard work that went into it.
In conclusion, it’s not the cheapest rug but if it’s a choice between slave labour or bare floors I’d choose bare floors. And it’s not the easiest rug to clean, but I love the fact that it is made out of materials that would otherwise have gone to landfill.
Sometimes the sustainable choice involves some sacrifice and that’s ok. But it’s not always hard work! My next post will be about sustainable actions that involve little or even no effort at all 🙂
P.S. The bright colours are completely my choice, all part of the fun of ordering a custom rug.