Vegan Rugs – A guide to buying eco-friendly, ethically sourced rugs

The word vegan conjures up the idea of a diet free of animal products, but the term encompasses so much more than just food. The Vegan Society has recorded an exponential growth in vegans over the last five years, as people are increasingly drawn to this radical, healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Vegan restaurants, vegan furniture, vegan fashion, vegan cars and even vegan football teams are becoming part of contemporary life. (think of The Forest Green Rovers Football Club!)

The luxury and fashion industries are getting also moving towards veganism, following the philosophy of the pioneer Stella McCartney, with her first leather and fur free collection in 2001. The motto Green is the new black is being followed by brands from Givenchy to Isabel Marant, Lanvin, Gucci and the very popular sneakers French brand Veja.

And so too, in interiors, where green and cruelty free furnishings and accessories are being developed by designers and architects, creating animal-free interiors using eco-friendly paint and varnishes as well as vegetable derived fabrics for home accessories, including cushions, bedding, sofas and of course rugs.

Unfortunately, it has become a cliché to associate veganism with boring, bland design. FEAR NOT! Contemporary vegan rugs have moved a long away from the original simple earthy look, with innovative designs, and a wide range of colours like you can find in our stylish geometric rugs.

ontemporary luxury vegan rugs
Prism Vibrant Rug in Wool and Viscose Mix

Viscose and Other Natural Fibres

Our vegan rugs are made from Viscose, a semi-synthetic fibre. “Semi” because it is made using a chemical process which combines a natural raw material with a synthetic substance. The first viscose fibre was called “vegetable silk”, later known as rayon, but now the name derives from the natural raw material used. Many different kinds of trees are used, as well as plants. Even though most of the rugs displayed on our website are made in wool, all our designs can be made in vegan viscose fibre. Please ask us for more details.

Rectangles Rug in Viscose (Left) and Wool (Right) by Sonya Winner

Viscose rugs can be chic and sophisticated luxury rugs, but their most noticeable characteristic is their softness. They are so smooth that it is hard to resist walking on them barefoot. They are much cooler to the touch than wool which is a positive for those living in hotter climates. They are also very easy to maintain, (vinegar or lemon juice will remove most stains) durable and hardwearing.

Wool Colour Poms (Left) and Viscose Colour Poms (Right)

An exciting current trend in vegan rugs is for those made with recycled plastic bottles and straws.  Up to 3000 plastic bottles can make one rug! They look incredible, they are stain resistant and machine washable and above all feel as soft as wool. They also have the unique quality of being water resistant so they can be used outdoors to give a stylish touch to your garden!

Natural fibre rugs and carpets are also very popular.  Jute, sisal, seagrass, hemp and other natural fibres can give your house a holiday vibe.   They lend themselves to rustic and natural design, in subtle tones with a splash of brought colour around the edges.

Bamboo rugs are an interesting option for vegan consumers. Don’t think of the hard bamboo mats of the past. Handwoven bamboo fibres and pulp make soft rugs, both eco-friendly and easily biodegradable.

All these materials can be woven into cool contemporary designs. Replacing the traditional wool, silk and other animal products used in rug making is easily done, giving the vegan consumer a beautiful modern rug to furnish their home in line with their vegan philosophy.

Rectangles Rug by Sonya Winner in Viscose

Ethically Sourced rugs

We are incredibly proud to be member of GoodWeave, which supports weaving communities and contributes to fighting child labour and developing educational programmes for women.

The GoodWeave association imposes the absence of child labour in the manufacture and production of classic and modern rugs for manufacturers in India, Nepal and Afghanistan. It is also authorised by the manufacturers themselves to carry out unannounced controls in the workplace by local inspectors. All authorised manufacturers continue to support this standard financed by carpet exporters for the European and American market.

GoodWeave founder Kailash Satyarthi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, together with Malala Yousafzai, for “their fight against the oppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to receive education.”

Rug Weaving process in India supported by GoodWeave

Environmentally friendly rugs

One of the cornerstones of our company is durability. We echo the motto “We love things that last” of the innovative and eco-friendly portal, BuyMeOnce, which aims to combat the culture of waste and unbridled consumerism. Avoiding low quality products, destined to be thrown away after very little time, helps to reduce the consumption of resources and the issue of waste and increased pollution that why you will be happy to purchase an eco-friendly rug from us.