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The Do’s and Don’ts of Purchasing a Rug Ethically

Jul 23, 2021
by Maneesha Wijesinghe

Area rugs add a splash of colour and texture to a room, as well as warming up spaces, helping to create zones, and making the of wood or tiled floors that bit safer. But whilst beautiful, rugs throw up all sorts of ethical questions. So, if you have your heart set on adding a rug to your home, read on to discover how to make your purchase ethical.


There is widespread criticism of the way ornate textiles are produced. Child labour and forced work is rife in the industry, and it can be difficult to be aware of the ethics behind your purchase. So, what to consider when buying your next area rug to stay in line with your ethical values?


The source


Buying modern area rugs means that you should see a declaration of origin. Note the supplier’s name, then look them up and check out their artisan statement. This should explain where the producers live, as well as provide the company’s philosophy on paying their producers, as well as their approach to sustainability.


Wherever possible, try to buy your rugs from a company that shares its profits with a view to developing and protecting its partners, producers and the wider environment. A company that reinvests in response to a social or environmental issue can be considered an ethical supplier. You want a company that is very much aware of its entire supply chain, which makes it easier to ensure ethical procedures are in place at every stage.


If you are not able to establish the source of your area rug, give it a wide berth and move on to another option.


The price


Heavily discounted floor coverings could indicate forced or child labour, making it possible to keep prices low.


The hand-knotting and tight-woven qualities of the most sought-after carpets are often associated with child labour, and whilst there are bans on these processes in some countries and amongst some suppliers and importers, the issue still exists.


It is good ethical practice to look for rugs that bear Good Weave certification when buying from larger suppliers, or simply consider the advertised price and compare it against known ethical brands. If the prices aren’t anywhere near for the size, materials and detail, your rug could well be too good to be true.


The materials


Area rugs made from synthetic dies should be avoided when buying ethically. The run-off can create waste that has a negative impact upon the water sources near the factories and origin communities. What’s more, if you lay on a rug that’s been synthetically dyed, it could be hazardous to your health.


Instead, look for rugs that are made using natural fibres and dyes. Whilst this inevitably means you will see a fading of colour over time, it does at least provide peace of mind that the rug was made from plant-based and natural materials, which are considerably less harmful to people, pets and the environment.


Natural fibres such as cotton, wool and jute will ensure durability. Maintenance wise, be sure to employ a cleaning process that’s natural so you lift stains and dirt without damaging the delicate fabrics.


Packaging and maintenance


Buying rugs ethically goes beyond the actual product. You should also be considering the sustainability of the packaging materials, to the carbon footprint of the shipping. Buying locally produced, chemical and plastic free area rugs can be considered ethical practice.


In terms of caring for your rug, choose cleaning methods that are naturally based rather than using chemicals. If you need to call in a professional rug cleaner, take time to assess their environmental and sustainability policy and look for an eco-friendly or organic cleaner.


Purchase ethical rugs from Kola Project


If you are seeking a trusted source for ethical area rugs, look to Kola Project. We offer a responsible range of rugs, mats and other matching home furnishings as part of our circular shopping model.


Kola Project was founded in response to the global waste issue. Our business model forms the first fully circular shopping experience in the world and is based on an exclusive return and reuse program. So, when you purchase area rugs from us, not only are you buying a product that’s sustainable, socially responsible and environmentally friendly, you will also get to enjoy total peace of mind that your rugs can be returned for repair, recycling, refurbishment, recycling or composting, at any point, no matter how long you’ve had them.


Why not take advantage of our unlimited buyback guarantee, and find your perfect ethical area rug today?

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