Discover New Weave

Historical Diversity

From America to Asia, in numerous cultures and continents, you can find rugs. Rugs can be both functional and decorative. There are many ways to make rugs. Within both machine and artisanal manufacturing methods, there's a tremendous diversity. Moreover, there's a variety in the use of materials, colors, and patterns. All this variety, coupled with age-old traditions, makes a rug a fascinating and valuable object.

Engagement with the Global Market

However, the industry also has a very dark side. Much of the manual, as well as machine production, has moved to countries where wages are significantly lower. Whereas in the past rugs were produced for personal use, now they are often made for the global market. Here, efficiency and cost savings play a significant role. Production has been industrialized, as we also see in the fashion industry. This industrialization has a downside that often takes place out of sight of the consumer.

Working Conditions

Subpar working conditions and underpayment are rife in the industry. There are initiatives aimed at countering this, but experience has shown that these organizations are only marginally effective. 100% guarantees on fair production hardly exist. Production often takes place in remote areas, and corruption is widespread. This makes monitoring difficult. There is immense pressure within the supply chain to keep prices low. Those at the end of the chain are the victims.

Environmental Damage

In traditional carpet-producing countries, environmental legislation is often less developed. This can have dramatic effects on local ecosystems. Several steps in the production process create an impact. Consideration should not only be given to the final step, the making of the rug, but also, for example, to the extraction of raw materials. The production or harvesting process of both synthetic and natural fibers (vegetable or animal) can also have a significant effect.

A common practice is the use of harmful substances during the production process. These substances are often banned in the country where the rugs are ultimately used. However, the import of these rugs is still possible when these substances are integrated into the textile. An example of this is the use of substances used to bleach wool, a commonly used material for carpet production. Or the use of chrome-based dyes, banned in the EU, is common. Such substances are often applied in completely unprotected environments, posing risks to both humans and the environment. Also, the discharge of untreated toxic by-products in the immediate vicinity is a common unscrupulous practice.

The waste problem

Yet, the entire harm doesn't stop there. What actually happens to a rug at the end of its life? Whereas in the past, carpets were often made so robustly that they remained usable for generations, we are increasingly seeing 'fast-fashion versions' that end up as waste after just a few years. This results in a massive mountain of trash. The European Commission's research body, CORDIS, estimates that 1.6 million tons of carpet end up in landfills and incinerators in the EU each year. That's 1.6 billion kilograms, equivalent to the weight of 6,400 Airbus A380s (link). A similar annual amount of carpet waste is generated in the United States and Asia.

It's disheartening to see that behind such a beautiful product lies an industry that shouldn't really see the light of day. This industry is often invisible to the consumer who is simply looking for a nice rug in a store. Wouldn't it be wonderful if things could be different? Preserving the vast diversity that carpets offer, but without the harmful effects. Of course, this is a task that isn't achieved overnight and requires massive changes throughout the entire chain. And then the question remains: does a completely sustainable and good rug even exist?

New Weave

But that doesn't mean it's not possible to make a good start, or even more than that, to introduce it to the market. New Weave aims to provide an alternative. A rug or carpet (whichever you prefer to call it) that honors carpet traditions and harnesses the diversity that characterizes the product. A rug that lasts longer. But then with a lower impact for the entire chain, even a positive impact. An essential aspect, which we emphasize in our communication, is taking back what we sell and then taking responsibility for recycling it ourselves. Because only with this strategy can a solution be offered for the growing waste problem.

Making our products fully and infinitely recyclable is one of New Weave's key points. This is also referred to as circular design. Circular design is no longer a technology of the future, especially not for a relatively simple product like a rug. In the articles found under 'sustainability', we try to explain clearly and simply how we do this. In short, we combine three key aspects:

We use a revolutionary yarn called ECONYL®. This robust material is made entirely from waste but is molecularly equivalent to the quality of new. And it can be recycled infinitely without loss of quality. Read more about ECONYL® and the regeneration process.

ECONYL® is made from approximately 45% of fishing nets. The organization Healthy Seas® is a partner in collecting these nets. New Weave donates 5% of its revenue directly to Healthy Seas. Read more about Healthy Seas®.

This robust yarn only truly shines if the producer also applies key design conditions for circularity. We are fully committed to meeting the highest design standards with regard to circular design. Read more about Take-back and Ecodesign.

Moreover, the question arises whether it is at all possible to counterbalance the existing order if you operate in the same way; with profit as the ultimate goal. Therefore, New Weave operates under the principles of a Social Business. It's a type of business conceived and meticulously described by Nobel Prize winner Mohammad Yunus, known as the proponent and advocate of microcredit. What exactly a Social Business means, and what the rules of a Social Business are, can be read underSocial Business’.

With these considerations in mind, coupled with the Social Business structure, New Weave seeks to provide a genuine alternative that can compete with the current industry. Being able to compete is a vital aspect. Because if we can't compete, we won't realize sales, and our impact will be minimal. Read more about our strategy under Mission & Vision.