Firstly can I thank you all so much for your positive response to my Do Less Harm campaign. I was glad that so many of you felt the same way and also concerned at the lack of information that is out there. So work on compiling the directory has begun. In the meantime I thought I would show you interesting and relevant things where I find them and this is one of those.
The Danish brand Ferm Living has launched a small collection comprising a rug, a runner, a cushion and a mat which are all made from upcycled plastic bottles and recycled polystyrene as part of its ongoing mission to produce its products in a more sustainable way every year. The company first launched a collection of organic tea towels in 2008 and has been working towards this goal ever since. If the entire collection sells out in a year, they will have re-used and reduced 270,000 plastic bottles.
Trine Anderson, the founding partner and creative director, said: “Our aim is always to do better than we did the year before. This goes for our designs, our people as well as the environment. With the launch of the Way series we stay true to our design language without compromising form and function while reducing waste – it all comes together and this, to me, is what sustainable design is all about.”
The other point to note about this collection is that it will fit seamlessly into most houses. You can use it inside or out but the deep blue and white pattern works with florals as well as more colourful geometric and even vintage Persian rugs so it’s immensely versatile. It can also go in the washing machine or be wiped clean so will work well under a kitchen table or in a playroom where there is liable to be spillage.
The rug is £229 and the cushion is £85. And yes, sometimes buying products like these does cost more. If it’s out of your budget then ask questions of the company you do want to shop from and see what their policies are towards disposal and sustainability. I was contacted by a company the other day that asked me to write about them in return for some products. They said they operated a paper free office but, as a start-up that was all they could manage at the moment. I asked where they sourced their products. They said everything they sold was sourced in the UK but they didn’t know where it was manufactured. Now to me that felt slightly out of step with the times. As discussed before, we may only be able to take small steps, to try and do less harm than no harm but it doesn’t cost anything to ask questions and find out where things come from. And, at the very least, if you have to dispose of it yourself make sure you do it in the best way possible.
That said, these rugs are a classic design that won’t go out of fashion and will last for ever so you can just move them round and round the house as the mood takes you.