Objects Of Design #363: Designer Fairtrade Rugs

These amazing designer rugs are part of a new collaboration between 18 artists and a Fairtrade rug collective in Nepal.

by Leslie Barnes; animator and illustrator
by Leslie Barnes; animator and illustrator whose animations have been shown all over the world. She has done illustrations for the V&A, Glasgow FilmFestival and Puffin Books.

Node is a non-profit business that aims to connect the design community with Fairtrade social projects. Their latest venture, MADE BY NODE, asked 18 artists to each create a rug through a Fairtradeproject in Nepal.

By Benji Davies is a children’s book illustrator. The Storm Whale, is due out in August 2013.

NODE are Chris Haughton and Akshay Sthapit. Chris is a childrens book author and illustrator who has been working in fair trade for the last nine years. He was listed in TIME magazine’s DESIGN 100 for the work he has been doing for fair trade.


In 2010, Chris spent eight months in India and Nepal working with fair trade groups. There, he began developing rugs with a fair trade technical school. He teamed up with Akshay,  a Kathmandu-based entrepreneur with a passion for social projects to create Node.

Patternity is an award-winning creative organisation specialising in the exploration and application of pattern. It was founded in 2009 by art director Anna Murray and surface/textiles designer Grace Winteringham

Chris said: “We produce all our rugs with Kumbeshwar Technical School in Kathmandu, Nepal. Kumbeshwar was set up by the Khadgi family who are traditionally from the pode community, the lowest caste in Nepal. In 1983 the Khadgi family created a non-profit technical school to help their caste out of poverty and their work now has now extended to all disadvantaged individuals.

Jon Klassen is a Canadian illustrator who works primarily in picture books and on animated projects. He has written and illustrated two of his own books, “I Want My Hat Back” and “This Is Not My Hat”.

“Their weaving school recruits disadvantaged adults and offers an adult education and support centre. As well as given fair wages, their weavers are taught literacy and skills. With profits from the sales of rugs and  crafts they also fund a large school of 260 with well-trained and well-paid teachers, providing students with free books and meals. In addition, they fund an orphanage for 25 children. KTS  are a founder member of Fair Trade Nepal and are WFTO accredited.”

Sanna Annukka is a designer and printmaker. Her distinctive style of bold colour and pattern is influenced by her childhood summers spent in northern Finland.

The collection launches at the Design Museum Shop at the beginning of March (fair trade fortnight and will be sold exclusively there for three weeks. After that you can buy the rugs from the Node website.

Kevin Waldron studied Illustration at Kingston University where he began working with children’s book illustration. His first book, Mr Peek and the Misunderstanding at the Zoo won an award. The second is due out later this year.
(Templar Publishing)

Each rug is limited editions, measure two square metres and costs £950.

Which is your favourite?







Tags : designer rugsfairtraderugs
Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.