turning plastic into pretty…
gorgeous outdoor rugs with a story to tell

 Mad-Mats-GroupShot (3)

Summer is over and it’s time to start putting away the outdoor furniture. Or is it? Before you cover the lounge chair and roll up the outdoor area rug, take a good look at them. Is the furniture a solid, weather-resistant wood like teak? Or is it made from all-weather recycled HDPE? If so, don’t cover it up yet! How about that rug? If it’s made from recycled plastics, it’s still good to go as well.

Wait… a rug that will stand up to cold and wet? But what about mud and leaves and all that fall and early winter stuff? Put the right rug down, and you won’t have to worry about any of it. Rugs woven from recycled polypropylene are surprisingly durable, waterproof and entirely washable. The colors won’t fade, the “fabric” won’t crack, and they won’t even cause mold or mildew on your deck. And since they’re woven, they look and feel amazing. So what’s the story with these rugs? Where do they come from?

Several years ago, a rug maker stumbled across some vintage looms, forgotten and idle. They followed patterns from punch cards, like old player pianos—a little prehistoric by today’s standards! The rug maker was also looking for ways to incorporate recycled materials into their product, and these looms were the start of an idea!

What if they took recycled materials—like plastics from soda and water bottles—and wove them into classic, traditional patterns on these vintage looms?

The process began. The search was on for the right type of recycled materials—it had to be the highest quality, completely safe and nontoxic for people and pets. Safe coloring and conditioners had to be found to create vibrant patterns and a soft feel, as well as UV protection to keep them from fading. The final design had to be completely care-free—just hose off and go, no worries about fading, staining, or trapped moisture.

Once all that was found, then came the fun part. Handcrafting the rugs on the vintage looms. Each rug would be a work of art. Sure, that meant there might be some variations and tiny imperfections, but that’s the difference between handcrafted quality and mass-produced products. The work environment had to be fair trade and environmentally sound. This was about true sustainability—good for people and the planet.

The result of all this hard work, thought and supportive environment? Beautifully crafted area rugs made from materials that were landfill bound.

That’s the story of our recycled plastic outdoor rugs. So go ahead, enjoy your deck or patio another season! We’re happy to be a part of it.

Enhanced by Zemanta

decoding the codes…
recycling symbols 101

Organized Recycling Recycling has gotten a whole lot easier lately; many communities are now offering single-stream recycling (meaning you can toss all of your recyclables into one bin). Others require basic sorting and still others require very specific sorting. Either way, it’s a good idea to know your recyclables! Continue reading

no excuses recycling…
reducing the kitchen trash

kitchen recycle

The kitchen trash… how much of what goes in there could be recycled? These days, the answer is “a lot.” Curbside recycling programs are getting more and more widespread and picking up a wider variety of items than they did just five years ago. Even smaller cities tend to have recycling centers that can handle what your curbside program can’t. So, here’s our collection of nine no-excuse items that should be recycled. Continue reading

taming the plastic monster…
and decoding those recycling numbers

Recyling Pile

Plastic is pretty much everywhere we go. It’s easy, it’s convenient, it’s cheap… and it’s about as bad for the environment as it can possibly be. Going completely plastic free is an admirable goal, but for most of us, it’s a daunting task. We like little steps – simple, easy things that anyone can do to make their world just a little bit greener. Here are just a few (almost) painless ways you can reduce the plastics in your life. Continue reading

the recyclable files…
what’s the real lifespan of an aluminum can?

Aluminum Cans

Most Americans have gotten used to recycling, and with the prevalence of curbside recycling programs, it’s an easy thing to do – most of the time. Products like glass and paper can go into the bin without too much thought. Plastics and other materials can be a little trickier and will vary according to the services available in your area. But have you ever wondered just how many times you can recycled a material? Continue reading