When I launched Organic Weave, my first appointment Patterson, Flynn, Martin, the renowned NYC based floorcovering company. One of the first questions from the lead designer and buyer was: “are all your weavers friends?
“Because I don’t want to see any fighting in your rugs.”
The question made me pause. For so many reasons. I expected to be grilled on price, minimum order quantity and my certifications. Instead, this buyer asked me about the soul of my product.
In our era of fast, cookie-cutter mass production, handmade products tell a different story. A rug weaver may take weeks or months or even years to complete a piece – is her energy woven into the fabric of each piece? Does the mood of the creator show itself in the final product?
Enter Slow Design. More than a trend, Slow Design promotes “well being for individuals, society, and the natural environment. Slow Design seeks a holistic approach to designing that takes into consideration a wide range of material and social factors as well as the short and long term impacts of the design.” – Wikipedia.
The cornerstones of Slow Design are:
HOLISTIC * SUSTAINABLE * NON TOXIC
This movement takes into consideration the maker of the product – is she paid a living wage? How are the working conditions? Is she working with materials that are non toxic?
Few products could define Slow Design better than handmade rugs, which are painstakingly woven and finished and washed by hand. Our work with a women’s cooperative in rural India – Unnayan – has taught me about the value of creating a happy & healthy work environment for our weavers – happy weavers make happy rugs. And everything is more beautiful when made by hand – wouldn’t you prefer I served you a fresh homemade apple pie than a store bought one?