The non-toxic nursery

Designing a non-toxic nursery gets easier every day.  Natural, eco-friendly and affordable options for paints, fabrics & bedding, mattresses and furniture (and now flooring!) are readily available.

We spend up to 90% of our time indoors, and the average person spends one third of that time in the bedroom.  A baby or child will spend 12+ hours just sleeping in their bedroom. Creating a chemical free sleep environment for your child is a good place to start, according to Mary Cordaro, an expert in healthy homes:

Transforming the bedroom into a healthy, environmentally clean and comfortable retreat is one of the most important steps we can take to improve our overall health and well-being.

Products to consider when shopping include:

  • paint
  • wallpaper
  • flooring
  • rug
  • drapery
  • bedding
  • crib and furniture
  • mattress
  • bedding

Some of my favorite resources for the all natural nursery are included below, as well as articles to read more about why the natural nursery/bedroom is the perfect choice for your little one.

Shopping:

goop guide – a definitive guide on everything you’ll need for the first months

thetot.com– retail and online shop and advice for every parent

Sprout San Francisco – retail and online shop and advice for every parent

Articles:

mary cordaro’s article on the bedroom

The Spruce Tips for Natural Nursery

#love is all you need – plus a healthy environment for your child to sleep, play and thrive.

IMG_1456

 

What does it mean to be certified ORGANIC?

When I launched Organic Weave at a German trade show in 2013, people asked “what is an organic rug. Can I eat it?”.

(the answer is yes, but I wouldn’t recommend it).

Fast forward to 2018, and no one is asking if they can eat my rugs.

Organic certifications exist for almost any product – from household cleaners to lipstick to food.  And now, rugs and carpets. Our certification agency, GOTS, has recently introduced  a new logo, but the stringent certification process is unchanged.

In a nutshell, the GOTS logo on a textile ensures the buyer that the product has met the standard for processing and manufacturing made from at least 70% certified organic natural fibres. The final products may include, but are not limited to fibre products, yarns, fabrics, clothes and home textiles.

If you are looking for more information about healthy options and certified organic products for your home, I recommend the following sources:

Mary Cordaro

Greenopedia

Debra Dadd’s List

Healthy House on the Block

GOTS

 

Morocco….land of spices and the world’s largest solar power plant

marakkesh

I went to the gateway to Africa expecting to be transported into a magical land of colorful architecture (all of the buildings in Marrakesh are painted a terracotta red) and delicious spices (have you ever tried tagine?). This emerging economy, Africa’s 6th largest, is dominated by fishing, mining, and agriculture (significantly oranges, argan oil, cannabis!)

Little did I know that I would be awed and inspired by this country’s commitment to the environment.

In the recent past, Morocco has extended the urban tram networks in Rabat and Casablanca, launched Africa’s first bicycle for hire system, and banned the use of disposable plastic bags.  And then there’s the Kingdom’s comprehensive plan to develop renewable energy – from solar energy to hydroelectric power to wind power.

Did you know that Morocco has launched the world’s largest solar power plant in the Sahara Desert? The project, called Noor (meaning light in Arabic) turns 3000 hours of sunlight per year into electricity and gives power to over one million people. The goal is that 40% of the country will be powered by renewable energy by 2040.

In this exotic land of rich culture and rugged mountains and desert storms, my conversations with locals always seemed to touch on the King’s plans for natural energy sources.  Moroccans are proud, and proud they should be.

Color therapy

Crayons-FTRWhite…the color of innocence and purity.  Red…the color of fire and passion. Blue….the color of the sky and the sea….

Can a color impact my mood? Is is an accident that hospital walls are painted pale green (lowers blood pressure) or soft blue (relaxes and soothes)?

Can a bright yellow space make me hyper?  According to Marie-Chantal Milette, Founder of Kryptonite, The Color Agency, the answer is yes.  Milette’s company advises brands on smart color choices – like choosing red for a restaurant’s branding to stimulate appetite. Having studied the impact of colors all her life, Milette uses her knowledge to help brands reach their target audience with the right colors.

Milette on the color red: “People who favor red tend to be passionate and intense. And red causes everyone’s heart to beat faster – even people who are color-blind – because it has the longest electromagnetic wavelength of any color, and it stimulates the brain to release hormones.”

I grew up surrounded by crimson red. The foundation of every room in our home was a handcrafted Persian rug with a traditional color combination of ruby red + navy.  It seems that blue and red are a perfect combination – blue evokes calm and tranquility and red is the color of energy and passion.  My childhood home – with six children and a myriad of pets, was a chaotic one, and yet welcoming and peaceful.

Did the rugs have anything to do with the mood in the house? Is it a coincidence that Presidents and Prime Ministers across the globe wear a uniform of a navy suit with a red tie?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for Non Toxic Products?

I recently came across Debra’s List (http://www.debralynndadd.com/debras-list/) and if you don’t know about Debra Lynn Dadd, head over to her website for an education on chemical free living.

Debra Lynn Dadd is an expert in non-toxic living and a go-to person for the chemically sensitive community. She is a consultant and author of several books, including “Home Safe Home”.

Debra has reviewed thousands of products from insect repellents to paint and clothing and given her seal of approval.  Organic Weave is thrilled to be included on Debra’s List beside companies who care as much as we do about producing chemical free products.

…woven from the soul

In our era of cookie cutter, mass produced, “commodity” decor, it’s refreshing to me to see unique, one of a kind product, made by hand.  I concur with Hugo MacDonald:

“We are living in a world of smooth edges and shiny surfaces. Our yearning for everything to be friction free feels like it has gone too far, rendering us with a wipe-clean reality….we value craft precisely because we feel the human hand within it….”

Products that are made by hand carry the heart and soul of the artisans. Our rugs are made entirely by hand – taking slow manufacturing to the next level, as one piece can take months and month (or even years) to complete.  Knot by knot, row by row.

Most of our rugs are inspired by our client’s own designs.  Children’s artwork becomes a family treasure.   We encourage you to dream it…..so we can make it.

Imagine my surprise when a client’s artwork showed up – black on white – #WTF.

I will admit, my first thought was “how cool”, maybe #rugs will be my next big thing.  And then I thought, do I have any moral obligation to weed out swear words in my custom rug service?  Do I honor the client’s vision?

the best things in life are free

After some vacillating between I wish I had thought about it first and do I want to produce a rug with #WTF, I made the rug. And I also made the rug photographed above: “the best things in life are free” rug, at the same time.  #cancel-clear

 

Who Made Your Rug?

Until 1996, there were no watchdog organizations to monitor child labor in India’s carpet industry. Some estimated that the number of children weaving carpets illegally at 1,000,000.

1,000,000 kids.

The work of agencies like RugMark, GoodWeave, and LabelStep have changed the handmade rug industry by monitoring looms for illegal child labor.  These non-government agencies have been active for decades in creating programs to help to rehabilitate children at risk.

Simple formula. Not so easy to implement.

In 1996, I was asked by then Minister of Foreign Affairs (Canada), Pierre Pettigrew, to participate in a panel discussion about child labor. I sat alongside my colleagues from major corporations – NIKE, LEVI STRAUSS and I presented on child labor in India’s carpet industry.

All eyes were on me (meaning fingers were pointed) because everyone was talking about tiny fingers weaving rugs. At that time, there was only a whisper about child labor in other industries.

….as I was presenting, (and it was late in the afternoon and everyone seemed to need an espresso), I stood up and asked “WHO MADE YOUR SHIRT?”.

It’s a good question to ask ourselves whenever we buy an imported product.

Organic Weave is a proud member of GoodWeave International and our rugs are certified free of child labor.  Who made your rug?