A Zero Waste Home: How to Decorate your Home Sustainably with Rug & Weave
Please note that this is a sponsored post in paid partnership with Rug & Weave. Plus use the discount code ZEROWASTE for 15% off at Rug & Weave!
The Story Behind Rug & Weave
About Rug & Weave
Rug & Weave is a family business operated by Sarah McBean and her husband Svein Piene, a couple passionate about travel and exploration. It all started when they were looking for a rug for their bathroom but couldn’t find anything; when they found something they liked, it was in the US and quite expensive. Given the challenges they faced, this husband-wife team decided to open up their own online rug store plus a brick & mortar store located in Guelph, Canada.
Rug & Weave has an assortment of carefully chosen, handmade and vintage textiles from around the world including rugs from Turkey and Iran, organic Turkish cotton throws, and pillows made of vintage and handwoven textiles (made in-house, not mass-produced) from villages around the world. To top it off, they have a carefully curated selection of local, and handmade goods in the shop such as ceramics, soaps, and candles!
The team at Rug & Weave is passionate about sustainability, and here are some things you should totally know:
They reuse scraps (from making pillows) for beeswax wraps and stuffing floor poufs
They work with local makers, and sell locally sourced home goods
They reuse boxes for shipping
They offset their carbon footprint for shipping
They use compostable tissue paper
They use packaging peanuts made from potato starch (they are compostable and can literally be washed down the drain with warm water)
They use eco-friendly cleaning supplies in their shop and warehouse
They donate to the Rainforest Alliance
They are always looking for new ways to become more sustainable
They are nice people (the best part, really!)
Story Behind Vintage Rugs
The best part about buying vintage décor? It tends to have a story. Here’s an example of a vintage rug (currently available might I add!! But that could change quickly) at Rug & Weave with a really great story! Details below:
This is a Serapi rug, which the team at Rug & Weave don’t come across often. They’re rare and highly sought after. This one is a 7'7" x 11'2" Antique Serapi, woven in Iran in the 1890's using 100% wool and vegetable dyes (i.e. no off gassing here!). Natural dyes like henna, indigo, and chamomile were used to achieve the extraordinary colour in combination with unbleached and undyed natural wool.
Serapi is a tradename given to Heriz rugs woven prior to 1900. They're a special type of Heriz rug that is unique and distinct, and often more luxurious and have a tighter weave than other rugs. Serapis may have taken up to seven years to weave, due to their size, level of detail, and design (hello quality!!). Serapis were primarily woven by multiple weavers, either worked on in the family, or in a small workshop. They were also primarily woven and designed by women. Most are characterized by a multi-lobed centre medallion, flanked by four corner pieces and have nature motifs. Now this is a lifetime piece!
FYI – a vintage rug is 40-90+ years old and an antique rug is 90+ years old. Cool eh?
Benefits of Antique and Vintage Rugs:
You’re re-homing an already existing rug!
They are long-lasting (will probably outlast you, and maybe even your kids!)
100% wool (i.e. natural fabrics, no off gassing!)
Vegetable dyes (no off gassing!)
Handmade (with love!)
Each one has its unique history and story to tell
They are beautiful and unique
Looking for quality and sustainable décor? Check out Rug & Weave for their vintage and antique rugs, plus a variety of other home décor!
Tips on How to Style Your Home Sustainably
Shop Vintage, Antique and Secondhand
The most sustainable home décor is décor that already exists. Check out your local vintage, antique and secondhand shops and online stores to score the best of home décor that’s already available and needs a new home! It tends to be more affordable than brand new and helps support a circular economy and keeps existing goods out of the landfill.
Incorporate Natural Materials
Many synthetic materials (think petroleum-based products like polyester) will off gas in our homes, creating indoor air pollution (while the term ‘off gas’ might sound like you’ll breathe in a yucky sewer smell, you might not smell anything at all). Try looking for natural and nontoxic materials like cotton, wool, silk, linen, hemp, wood, ceramics, glass, etc.
Not sure if what you’re going to buy will off gas or be nontoxic? Find out what all of the materials are and do a quick Google search to get all the details. If you’re buying from a business directly and not secondhand (via a Facebook group, for example), call or send them an email to get more information. Too lazy to look up all this info? Head to Rug & Weave, as their rugs do not off-gas!
Choose Sustainably Sourced Décor
If you’re purchasing something new, try to learn the story of the products you’re buying. Consider asking questions like: Who made this décor? What materials were used to make it? Were the materials sustainably sourced? If you’re not sure how to answer these questions, it’s easy to go to the ‘About’ page of a business’s website to get a better sense of their values and priorities.
Also, look for certifications like FSC certified, which stands for Forest Stewardship Council, and is a certification that ensures that the product you are buying is made from responsible sources and have been verified to meet FSC’s strict environmental and social standards. Look for similar certifications (e.g. Fair Trade) and other information. Always ask questions if you’re not sure. In other words, learn more to be sure that the décor you’re buying didn’t strip a forest naked and that people were treated fairly in the production process.
Rug & Weave works directly with villages and artisans around the world to get Fair Trade textiles, which they spin into pillows in their Guelph Warehouse! Their Thai Karen fabric is fairly traded with the Karen Ethnic Group in Thailand and Burma. Their 100% organic sheep wool Bhujodi pillows are ethically assembled for Rug & Weave by skilled artisans in Gujarat, India. It’s this type of thorough and thoughtful approach that is totally badass and worth supporting!
Skip the cheap stuff and save your money for the décor that is going to last a lifetime instead. While inexpensive doesn’t always mean that what you’re buying is low quality, it could mean that what you’re buying wasn’t sustainably and/or ethically sourced and made.
In terms of quality, price can sometimes give you a sense of whether or not a product was built to last.
In addition, if you’re shopping in person, feel the décor for its weight, the types of materials, construction, etc. Is it sturdy or flimsy? Will this product be likely to last a long time, or break easily or look tattered in a short period of time? For example, Rug & Weave rugs are made to last a lifetime (even longer!) due to their handmade nature: they are hand-knotted on looms from 100% wool, and woven tightly.
Let the Season Decorate Your Home
Another easy and sustainable way to decorate your home is with natural and seasonal décor. It’s currently autumn in the northern hemisphere and it’s a beautiful time of year to decorate your home with natural décor like pumpkins, gourds, dried corn, flowers, wreaths, pine cones, and so much more! Find natural décor that’s available to you. The best part is, you won’t have to store this décor until the following season. You can compost it instead! Hello minimalism.
Rug & Weave is your one-stop-shop for sustainable, ethical and high quality décor, and they are well known for their vintage and antique rugs, plus a variety of other home décor! Be sure to use the discount code ZEROWASTE for 15% off!
For more tips on going zero waste, read the book and head to zero waste 101!