Sustainable Rugs: Go Green One Step at a Time

Weekly Tip - Sustainable Rugs: Go Green One Step at a Time

Welcome to this week’s sustainability tip article. This week we’ll be sharing simple and effective ways to incorporate sustainable rugs into your home. Making sustainable changes, no matter how small, is crucial to protecting our planet and creating a healthier future for all.

Whether you’re already committed to living sustainably or just getting started, this week’s article is a must-read. By making simple changes, you can transform your home into a healthier, more eco-friendly space while doing your part to protect our planet.

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Sustainable Rugs: A History

Over 5,000 years ago, nomadic tribes hand-wove rugs out of camel, sheep, and goat hair. Archaeologists have uncovered evidence of rugs in Egyptian and Mesopotamian tombs dating back more than 4,000 years. The oldest known surviving rug is the Pazyryk Carpet, which dates back to 500 BC.

In many ancient civilizations, rugs were considered to be more than just decorative pieces for the home. They often held spiritual significance. They represented the connection between people and the earth. On top of this, sometimes even symbolized specific deities or religious beliefs. For example, in ancient Persia, rugs were seen as sacred objects. They had certain designs believed to offer protection from evil spirits or bring good luck to the home.

Similarly, in the Navajo tradition, rugs were believed to be imbued with the energy of the weaver, making them powerful spiritual tools. In these early times of civilisation, rugs were often made from natural fibres like wool, cotton, and silk.

Sustainable Rug - The world's oldest sustainable rug is date to 500 BC
The oldest sustainable rug ever found is dated to 500 BC

They were used to decorate and insulate floors in homes and public spaces. From the rich, detailed carpets of Turkey to the tribal designs of Morocco and the vibrant colours of India, rugs have long been a reflection of the cultures and traditions of the societies that produced them.

Sustainable Rugs: Why you need one

The production of rugs has a substantial environmental impact, primarily due to the materials used and the manufacturing process. 

Synthetic fibres such as nylon and polyester, which are often used in rug production, are derived from non-renewable resources like oil. This makes their production unsustainable.

The production process for synthetic fibres is also energy-intensive. As well as this it involves the use of chemicals, which can be harmful to the environment.

Moreover, traditional rug production methods can involve the use of toxic chemicals in dyeing and finishing processes. This can result in the release of harmful pollutants into the environment. These pollutants cause damage to both ecosystems and human health. Additionally, synthetic rugs cannot be recycled, leading to the accumulation of non-biodegradable waste in landfills.

Sustainable Rugs - Many modern rugs are made from plastic and end up in landfill and eventually the oceans

Plastic waste in landfills breaks down into tiny particles called microplastics, which can leach into the soil. Eventually it ends up in the groundwater, potentially contaminating the ecosystem. These microplastics can also be ingested by wildlife, causing harm to both animals and the environment.

Sustainable Rugs: What to Look For

When buying a sustainable rug, there are several factors to consider to ensure that your purchase has a minimal impact on the environment.

First, look for rugs made from natural, renewable materials like wool, cotton, or jute. These materials are biodegradable and do not release harmful pollutants into the environment. Additionally, consider the manufacturing process. Choose rugs that are produced using eco-friendly methods and without the use of toxic chemicals.

It’s also essential to look for rugs that are ethically sourced and produced. Watch out for fair labour practices and businesses that support local communities. When it comes to disposal, opt for a rug that can be recycled or repurposed at the end of its life. Recycling options for rugs vary depending on the material, so check with your local recycling facility to see if they accept textiles.

Sustainable Rug - By choosing a sustainable rug you are taking another step to a better future
By choosing a sustainable rug you are taking another step to a better future

Alternatively, consider donating or selling your rug to extend its life and reduce waste. By considering these factors, you can make an informed and sustainable purchase decision while supporting a healthier, more eco-friendly future.

Some of our Favourite Sustainable Rug Brands

Weaver Green

Weaver Green is a UK-based sustainable rug brand that offers hand-woven recycled plastic rugs & textiles. All Weaver Green textiles are made from 100% recycled PET plastic bottles. In fact, in the last three years, they’ve recycled close to 200 million plastic bottles! In addition to being environmentally conscious, Weaver Green also prioritises fair labour practices and ethical production methods. They also offer a range of other sustainable home décor products. In fact, they make it easy to create a cohesive, sustainable look in your home.

Sustainable Rugs - Weaver Green's Darjeeling sustainable rug
Weaver Green's Darjeeling sustainable rug

Alternative Flooring

Alternative Flooring is a UK-based company that offers sustainable and eco-friendly flooring solutions, including rugs. Their sustainable rug collections are made from natural fibres, including wool, sisal, seagrass, and jute. The wool used in their rugs is sourced from British sheep. As well as this. they use a process that reduces water consumption and chemical usage. Their sisal, seagrass, and jute rugs are made from rapidly renewable materials and are biodegradable. The company also creates employment in the developing world.

Sustainable Rug - Alternative Flooring's 'Susie' Sisal rug
Alternative Flooring's 'Susie' Sisal rug

The Braided Rug Company

The Braided Rug Company offers a range of handcrafted rugs made from natural fibres like wool and jute. Their rugs are not only eco-friendly but also durable and long lasting. This makes them a great investment for any home. The Braided Rug Company prides itself on its commitment to sustainability. Becuase of that, they use materials and production methods that minimize their impact on the environment. They also prioritise fair labour practices and ethical sourcing, ensuring that their rugs are made responsibly and sustainably.

Sustainable Rugs - The Braided Rug Company's 'Sand' 100% recycled bottle rug
The Braided Rug Company's 'Sand' 100% recycled bottle rug

Best of all, our friends over at The Braided Rug Company have provided all Play It Green readers with a 10% discount code. Simply head over to their website and use code PLAYITGREEN10 at checkout.

That’s a Wrap on Sustainable Rugs

That’s it for this week’s sustainability tip.

Choosing a sustainable rug can make a positive impact on the environment and your health. All these small but important choices add up to making a more sustainable future for ourselves and the planet.

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