Every Purchase Has a Purpose

I made a promise to myself when I was 21.  That I would work with women in India.

I don’t believe that any Mother would have her child work, except out of economic necessity.

On my first trip to India in 1989, I saw children working & weaving, and their employers shamelessly explaining that child labor “is a way of life here”.

This “way of life” has changed dramatically since 1989, when an estimated 1,000,000 kids were working in India’s carpet industry.

But children continue to work. Illegally. In many industries, including prostitution.

We aim to provide a sustainable income to our women weavers so that they can contribute to the economic viability of their families, and keep their children with them, safe & sound, at home.

Your purchase helps to provide dignified work to our women weavers who work in a cooperative environment in rural India, near the Holy River Ganges.

….so this idea started with the idea of working with women, and I needed a product. Rugs? Yes, my roots are rugs, I’m the third generation in my family in this business. Partner? My family is well connected with a family of rug merchants in India. Perfect. But, wait. Women don’t weave rugs (it’s a male dominated craft). Back up. Build looms and train women to weave. oh, and while I’m at it, why not make one of the home’s greenest products more green? A certified organic rug company. Great! But WAIT! This certification is taking forever (it took 3 years), but I was already committed….

 

 

5 Websites for Design Inspiration

Scrolling through interiors on instagram never disappoints.

Often dubbed “design porn”, here are my current favorite websites/instagram accounts:


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1. Dering Hall – delivered to your inbox daily at 6 pm (EST), you’ll find a gorgeous photo essay on some aspect of design “Gorgeous Bathrooms with Wood Ceilings”, and the resources (where to shop) to support the story.  Need ideas? Look no further….every topic is covered here. Need a design professional? Check out the profiles on interior designers across North America.


lark & linen2. Lark & Linen – Seasoned Blogger and Interior Designer Jacqueline Clark offers tips on all things decor as well as food and shopping resources – all beautifully presented and affordable!! From cookie recipes to home tours, you’ll find a breath of fresh air in the pretty pages of Lark & Linen.

 


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3. HommeMaker – Orlando Soria had me at HOMME. Seriously? What a brilliant play on words – Home + Homme (French for man). Orlando has more style in his pinky….and his makeovers are magical, including the laundry room makeovers that could make anyone want to chill while with the washing.


4.  Amber Interiors – scrolling through the blog and projects of talented interior designer, Amber Lewis, is like taking the most relaxing walk on the beach.  The images themselves are soothing! You’ll feel like you’re having a conversation with Amber as she takes us with her on the journey towards “cozy, eclectic, unique” and functional interiors.


5. The Good Trade – need to know where to eat vegan while you travel? Need to know which organic mascara to try? The Good Trade has you covered. From fashion to beauty to home to travel, The Good Trade was “created for those seeking to live an inspired and intentional life,”. Here you’ll find ethical brands, artisan made homewares, all natural and eco-friendly offerings for home and life. It’s a deep dive that will inspire you to make more conscious decisions about how you spend your money. (and believe me, it’ll make you want to spend your money! especially on travel!)

 


 

Happy Feet – the case for Organic Wall to Wall Carpeting

Introduced in the 1960s, and wildly popular in the 1970s – wall to wall carpeting is enjoying a resurgence in popularity mainly because of its warmth and softness.

Do you remember the 70s shag? Whole living rooms blanketed with avocado or tangerine shag floors that needed to be raked?

Or perhaps like me, you grew up watching The Brady Bunch, with almost the entire set covered in wall to wall carpet?

Image result for the brady bunch set(What ever happened to Carol Brady’s husband? And did anyone else notice that the exterior view of the Brady house showed the second floor on the left side while the interior clearly has the staircase on the right side? Just two of the mysteries of my childhood).

Somewhere in the 90’s, flooring trends changed.  Wall to wall carpeting was ripped out and replaced with hardwood floors and area rugs.

Carpet has lost favor as a decor choice, partly due to the ‘bad rap’ it has endured. That new carpet smell? The result of the chemicals used to manufacture the carpet.  Critics maintain that these chemicals off gas and create poor indoor air quality.

Besides no off gassing/ new carpet smell, here are some of the reasons why Organic Wool Carpet is an ideal choice for living areas, hallways and bedrooms:

  • soft and comfortable underfoot
  • natural material from rapidly renewable resource (sheep)
  • filters dust and allergens
  • durable and long-lasting; wears well, resilient, retains original texture
  • flameproof, abrasion resistant
  • excellent sound absorption and heat insulation
  • easily cleaned and maintained
  • no chemical stain protectors or moth proofing treatments

What’s old is new again.  Organic Weave offers a myriad of color and style choices, including shags. Shags that need no rake.

The Non Toxic Bedroom

Recharge your batteries in a comfortable, chic, cozy and non toxic bedroom! We spend one third of our lives sleeping, and the environment in which we sleep impacts the quality of sleep we enjoy, as well as our general health, according to Mary Cordaro, an expert on healthy homes. Hiring an expert like Cordaro to do an assessment of your home, beginning with the bedroom, is a great choice if you suffer from chemical sensitives, asthma, or simply wish to live in a non toxic home.

 

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Update your bedroom with non toxic, chemical free & organic choices, starting with your bed.  Consider:

  • mattress
  • pillows
  • bed linens
  • paint
  • furniture
  • rugs & carpets

 

Beyond the (organic) sheets….some tips for creating a healthier bedroom:

  • check for moisture and mold, poor ventilation and contaminants from forced air/cooling systems
  • reduce or eliminate the use of screens in the bedroom – get rid of the cell phones, TV, laptops, WIFI, as the electromagnetic waves are known to interfere with peaceful rest
  • vacuum with a hepa filter vacuum and use an air purifier
  • dust regularly
  • use all natural household cleaners, soaps and detergents
  • remove any candles/air fresheners that are not pure + natural
  • open the windows and let the fresh air in!

 

Check out these sources for healthy products for your bedroombed-bedroom-blanket-545012

Mattress:

Pillows:

Bed Linens

Furniture:

Paint

  • Fallow & Ball
  • check out the non toxic options @ Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams & Behr

….finish your room with Rugs & Wall to Wall Carpeting from Organic Weave!


Read more:

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

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.

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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

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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.