Looking for an eco-friendly, responsibly produced rug? We’re here to help, with pointers on what to look for and where to find the perfect balance of style and sustainability.
Fiber Content: 100% wool, jute, cotton and other natural fibers are ideal. These are all renewable resources which won’t off-gas harmful chemicals into your home.
Dyes and Adhesives: Many companies offer all-natural or organic dyes but some chemical content is necessary to preserve more saturated colors. If you want to avoid chemicals altogether, make sure to inquire about the dye content.
Backing: Traditionally, latex is used for carpet backings. Natural latex rubber is its more natural, green counterpart. Jute and cotton can also replace latex backings.
Mill Practices: Does the manufacturer use wind power or recycle production waste? Do they use child labor? While not a “green” component, this is part of the larger issue of purchasing a responsible rug.
Companies to look for:
Peace Industry. Peace Industry’s felt rugs are made of 100% lamb’s wool and natural dyes. They practice fair trade and the company’s Turkish facility is run and operated by the husband and wife team (who also make their employees lunch everyday!).
ABC Carpet. Each rug has specific sustainable qualities and are labeled using ABC Carpet’s icon system. For example, the “goodcolor” icon indicates that low impact dyes with fewer harmful chemicals are used or the “goodthread” icon, which means that organic or bio-based fibers are used.
Earth Weave. Earth Weave carpets can contribute to LEED points in the Regional Materials and Recycled Content categories. Their BIO-Floor line is made of chemical free wool, jute and cotton backings and adhesive made from rubber trees. Earth Weave manufactures their products in Georgia.
è bella rugs are made of made of 100% alpaca yarn. They are biodegradable and organic dyes are offered.