Today is Earth Day 2021. A timely reminder that we only have one planet and it is up to us to look after it.
Here at Concept Hand Tufting we are constantly working to improve our environmental credentials. We are striving to only use natural and sustainable materials, such as wool, silk, bamboo, linen and jute. Rugs are produced with cotton and natural latex backing and, as everything is made to order and most products are made to exact size and shape, there is minimal wastage.
When it comes to packaging we keep it to a minimum. We also use cardboard and wood, wherever possible, so that it can be more easily recycled or biodegrade.
We believe that you don’t have to compromise on design, style or luxury by choosing a sustainable option. And, as always, are happy to dedicate our time and services to finding the best solution for your project, meeting both aesthetic and green credentials.
Below are some examples of beautiful, sustainable choices though, of course, the possibilities are endless when it comes to bespoke rugs.
We’d like to see a shift towards everyone making more informed choices about the materials they use in their homes so will tell you a bit more about the possible fibre options below:-
Synthetic fibres are the most popular fibres in the world – 65% of the world’s production of fibres are synthetic, and 35% are natural fibres. Synthetics such as acrylic, nylon, and polyester are made from chemicals such as thermoplastic, which outgas plastic molecules whenever they are heated. These chemicals can be released into the air through body heat and underfloor heating and the chemicals can then be absorbed by your skin.
While cotton, wool, and silk will completely biodegrade within a few months to a few years, synthetics take hundreds of years to completely degrade. Before that happens, however, it will degrade into little microfibres, which act as pollutants in the air and waterways.
Why are man-made fibres still being used?
The primary reason synthetic fibres are chosen in carpets and rugs is ease of maintenance. This is a difficult decision as customers want to be mindful of the environment but also to easily take care of their beautiful handmade product.
At Concept, we always champion wool as the durable choice. Wool carpets can be cleaned very effectively with a hot water extraction system. This causes no damage to the fibre – as long as they are allowed to dry thoroughly before being walked on again. After all the rain doesn’t damage the wool when it is still on the sheep!
We’re aware that fibre with more sheen makes a lovely addition to any piece, so are currently researching the best cleaning methods for natural products; with the intention of putting together a cleaning kit and guide to provide with all orders. We hope that this will offer more peace of mind to our customers, encouraging them to move away from synthetic fibres and opt for natural every time.
Following are some of the natural fibres we choose to use. They are all sustainable, biodegradable and more eco-friendly options for your flooring.
Wool – Wool is durable, cleanable, naturally fire-retardant and great at soundproofing. Merino or Worsted wool offers a delicate sheen and a softness to touch. Wool has been overtaken by synthetics in the carpet industry – we’d really like to turn this fact around!
Silk – Silk is a protein fibre spun by silkworms and is a renewable resource. Whilst being the most expensive yarn, for budgets that can accommodate it, Silk is the most durable of shiny fibres and is the original and ultimate when it comes to lustre and luxury.
Bamboo – Bamboo offers the look of silk at a fraction of the cost. It is luxurious and elegant and can be used all over or to highlight elements of a design.
Linen – We use Linen in Flatwoven products – it offers a sophisticated sheen. Linen is a natural fibre which stems from the flax plant. It uses considerably few resources such as water, energy, pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers.
Jute – Jute is used in flatweaves where the natural tones of the fibre are mostly utilised. It provides a more natural, rustic look which is very on trend.
Did you know?
1. Wool reduces VOCs
Just as plants help to reduce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released into the air by synthetic products in your home, wool is also a great reducer of VOCs. The complex chemistry of wool fibre enables it to bind pollutant gases, removing them from the air thus purifying it. Wool carpet also traps dust on the floor, ensuring it disappears for good once vacuumed up, making the air you breathe cleaner.
2. Silk is strong!
A silk rope is stronger than an equally thick metal wire! It has also been used for centuries. Originating in Ancient China, the first known example of silk dates back to 3630 BC.
3. Bamboo is the fastest-growing plant on earth
Bamboo is a highly sustainable plant. Bamboo can grow to full size in just 3-4 months, compared to standard trees which can take 30+ years to grow. In the right conditions, it can grow 3 feet tall in 24 hours. You can literally watch it grow with your own eyes! This makes it a super sustainable alternative due to its naturally renewing properties. Pesticides and chemicals aren’t required when harvesting bamboo, therefore the cultivation is natural and never harms the environment.
4. Linen is a soil hero
Flax can grow in poor soil which is not used for food production. In some cases, it can even rehabilitate polluted soil. Flax plants also have a high rate of carbon absorption.
5. Jute – recycling goals
Not only is Jute highly sustainable with a short growth cycle but Jute fibres can be recycled more than once! Making it a great eco-friendly choice.
To see more about what we’re up to please visit our Instagram page:- https://www.instagram.com/concepthandtufting/