4 unique rug brands that are sure to make a conscious statement

Meet the designers that are raising awareness as well as spotlighting innovative designs and eco-friendly materials.

Awakening one’s inner home décor aesthetic with warmth – rugs are sure to add a depth of character to one’s space. From Álvaro Catalán de Ocón and GAN Rugs to Vanessa Barragão, Jahan Rugs and Curves By Sean Brown – these brands with an eclectic curation strongly believe in sustainable, eco-friendly processes as well as highlight the utilization of local craftsmanship. 

Scroll further to explore their extraordinary but alluring collection with us: 

1. Álvaro Catalán de Ocón and GAN Rugs:

Dedicated to the creation of handmade products with natural or recycled fibers, Madrid-based Álvaro Catalán de Ocón and Spanish company GAN Rugs utilize polyethylene terephthalate (PET) to fabricate ‘Plastic Rivers’ – a fascinating collection of rugs woven with yarn made from recycled plastic debris. 

“Although this project has a political statement with many layers of interpretation, the design retains a formal attractiveness and contemporary edge. I crafted these rugs for them to seamlessly fit into our daily lives – with their size and texture inviting one to sit and lie down on them, making one feel like a giant floating above the landscape” says Ocón.

Plastic Rivers by Álvaro Catalán de Ocón for GAN Rugs
© Álvaro Catalán de Ocón for GAN Rugs

Portraying precise renderings of aerial images of some of the planet’s most polluted rivers – this innovative collection features four different models with formats skillfully adapted to the geographical characteristics of each river, from the Yangtze to  the Indus, the Ganges and the Niger.

Much more than a sophisticated work of protest design, the intricate textile work is beautifully carried out by GAN’s team of local artisans at workshops in India. These products are handcrafted stitch by stitch, pixel by pixel to brilliantly recreate aerial Google Earth panoramas of the rivers featured. 

© Álvaro Catalán de Ocón for GAN Rugs

2. Vanessa Barragão:

Crafting one-of-a-kind artisanal tapestries, rugs and wall hangings – Vanessa Barragão is an ecological textile artist and designer based in Portugal. 

She only utilizes recycled or otherwise discarded yarns from the industry to produce textiles and products for interiors. Building her pieces by hand through ancestral techniques, she harmoniously combines embroidery, crochet, latch hook, macrame, weaving, knitting, felting and hand-tufting – fabricating a magical 3D world in textiles. 

Growing up near the seaside, her connection to the ocean is the inspiration for her work. The organic textures, tactile nature and incredible layers of her art resemble and embody it, perfectly capturing the beauty of marine life.

Picos de Europa Rug by Vanessa Barragão
© Vanessa Barragão

After a trip to Picos de Europa, a mountain range in Northern Spain, Vanessa was determined to bring home some of the feelings she experienced there, while deep into nature. Taking 1000 hours to complete and made from 100% recycled wool – this is how the ‘Picos de Europa Rug’ was born.

“Shortly after returning home, I started doing some drawings inspired by what I had seen there – the translucent water courses flowing in between steep mountains, the mushrooms and different shades of green are all elements I felt necessary to be present in order to convey a feeling of being into the wild” says Barragão.

© Vanessa Barragão

3. Jahan Rugs:

Jahan Rugs comes from the lineage of one of the first Non-British rug manufacturing companies in British India.

“With the experience of 6 generations, almost a century old family run business and a history of exporting carpets throughout the world – we provide our best and highest quality rugs. The fibers used are ethically sourced from across the globe and our colors are dyed in dyes that are certified AZO free” says Jahan Rugs.

Their ‘Persian Hand Knotted Rug’ features an original 15 year old design made by the company. Inspired by Richard Hutten’s designs – they added melt in Photoshop to create the effect.

© Jahan Rugs

“Richard Hutten made something similar and distorted a Persian rug design by stretching the pattern into stripes. So instead of turning it into stripes we turned it into a melt/wave – that was a requirement by the client” Jahan Rugs adds. 

Hand knotted with 100 individual knots per square inch of the rug, the material utilized is 100% top grade New Zealand Wool  renowned for its purity, strength and luster. It’s surreal to see a Persian pattern rug melting away like this – but adding a distortion makes it unreal and commands attention!

Persian Hand Knotted Rug by Jahan Rugs
© Jahan Rugs

4. Curves By Sean Brown:

Curves is a home décor brand that cares less about making neutral objects to fit any home and more about creating pieces that speak to the personality, taste and nostalgia of the homeowner. 

“Curves had its start in Toronto as a pop up photography gallery, centered around Sean Brown’s work. As the pandemic set in, Brown’s focus shifted to the home. He wanted to stay inspired and motivated even if he had to stay in the same space for an extended period of time” says Zach, co-founder Curves By Sean Brown. 

CD Rugs by Curves By Sean Brown
© Curves By Sean Brown

The ‘CD Rugs’ were the first piece of homeware Brown designed and they went viral! 100% handmade acrylic tufted rugs – this collection came to life while he was furnishing his new apartment. Brown had a hard time finding a rug that he really loved and the inspiration came to him while looking through a stack of CD’s on his desk. 
“The albums chosen for a rug are based on both – Brown’s music preference as well as the look of the original design of the CD!” Zach adds.

© Curves By Sean Brown


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