Friday, October 28, 2011

You’ve already made your design choices for your child’s room, but have you thought about the hidden impacts on your child’s health and well-being of those choices? When decorating a room you are probably unaware that a component used in paints, furniture and carpeting can compromise your child’s health.

Formaldehyde categorized as a VOC and is used extensible in the manufacture of paint, furniture and carpeting. VOC’s are released into the air with the normal use overtime of these products and can have short and long-term effects on your family’s health contributing to increased asthma, headaches and respiratory ailments. One of the most common sources for harmful VOCs is the carpet upon which your child crawls, lies, rolls and plays. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recently established a direction link between the surfaces upon which a child walks or crawls as having a direct relationship to respiratory diseases. The rate of childhood asthma has increased 12% since 2001.

Choosing products which have eliminated the use of artificial chemicals and dyes reduces the percentage of air contaminants. Mass-produced commercial rugs undergo extensive chemical treatments prior to ending up in your child’s room.

As a parent what you choose when decorating your child’s room can have a lifelong impact on your their health. Making educated choices is the first step to providing a safe healthy interior. ecoFiber Custom Rugs are completely chemical free.

ecoFiber Custom Rugs has looked beyond the healthy production of their rugs to examine who produces their product. With an eye to this ecoFiber became a leader in demanding ethical labor practices when making their rugs. We have aligned with Goodweave ( an international organization which monitors and prohibits the use of child labor in international rug production. This partnership guarantees that the rug you purchase will be free of any child labor.

You want the best in all aspects of your child’s environment from choosing the best childcare to ensuring that your decisions make a positive difference in the health and well being of your child and children around the world.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day 2011: Fired Up for Sustainability

At ecoFiber, we're big advocates of a healthy, sustainable global environment. Our standards of production are based on an ethic of responsibility, which mandates choices that are good for the planet. Despite all the damage that's been done to our planet, there's plenty of hope for the future.

Today - Earth Day 2011 - We at ecoFiber are fired up about the increasing number of businesses and individuals around the globe who share values for sustainability.

What is Earth Day?

It may be hard to imagine that before 1970, a factory could spew black clouds of toxic into the air or dump tons of toxic waste into a nearby stream, and that was perfectly legal. They could not be taken to court to stop it. There was no legal or regulatory mechanisms to protect our environment.

In Spring 1970, Senator Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day as a way to “force this issue onto the national agenda.” With the efforts of government and grassroots efforts, 20 million Americans demonstrated in various U.S. cities.

The momentum from this epic movement persuaded Congress to authorize in December 1970 the creation of a new federal agency to tackle environmental issues, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

20 years later, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage.

Earth Day Today

The national Earth Day Network is promoting a Billion Acts of Green initiative this year. The goal is to demonstrate the impact that can be made by millions of people who commit to bettering the environment. It's a people-powered campaign to generate a billion acts of environmental service and advocacy before June 2012.

People can make healthy pledges to the environment to participate in sustainable development of a green economy. We at ecoFiber plan to pledge to continue to mandate choices that are good for the planet, which include using natural fibers and chemical-free vegetable dyes. We also intend to chase new ways to promote sustainability, health and comfort.

What will you do for Earth Day 2011?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Is your rug slave-free?

We discussed the positive change GoodWeave is making to end the child labor epidemic in the rug industry in ecoFiber Proud to Offer Product That's One-in-a-Million. Today, CNN produced a segment that shows how GoodWeave is trying to put a stop to child slave labor practices in Asian rug factories. We hope you'll take a few minutes to view this great feature, as reported by CNN's Maggie Lake:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Goodweave to be Featured on CNN April 18

We hope you have been following the CNN Freedom Project's ground-breaking coverage of modern slavery across the globe. From California's tomato fields to India's rug looms, CNN is bringing its viewers to the scene of exploitation, and telling the harrowing stories of children and other turned prey for profits.

The Freedom Project also seeks to tell stories of hope and liberation - the stories of emancipated slaves. This Monday, April 18, CNN will air its premier segment on GoodWeave's innovative market-based solution to child slavery. The piece will be shown on World Business Today at 9 a.m. EST, and subsequently aired on other shows throughout the day. The piece will also be archived on the CNN website along with a slideshow of images of GoodWeave's Faces of Freedom photo exhibition.

We invite you to tune in, and inform your friends and colleagues of the coverage. If you haven't already, become a GoodWeave Facebook fan and/or Twitter follower and you'll be updated as the coverage unfolds. You can also join the GoodWeave Ambassadors group on Facebook, which will ensure that you see the latest news and enable you to spread the word.

We hope the project inspires you to take action against the enslavement of children. Click here for a list of other ideas on how you can help GoodWeave take a stand. With your help, we can replace exploitation with education, which should be the birthright of every child.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Volatile Organic Compounds and the Air You Breathe

The links between sustainability, health and comfort are becoming increasingly understood and appreciated. Nowhere is this more acute than with indoor air quality. In Natural Fiber Rugs and Your Family, we discussed how non-natural fiber rugs can be dangerous for you and your family by the off-gassing of chemicals from various materials. But you may be left wondering: What exactly are the chemicals that result in dangerous indoor air quality?

What are VOCs?

They're called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), present in many paints, carpets, and rugs that we buy to perk up the interiors of our homes.

Often the 'new smell' of products we use in our homes are actually VOCs being released into the air we breathe. VOCs may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. These substances can harm human respiratory health, and make you or your loved ones more susceptible to headaches, allergies or asthma. Young children are particularly vulnerable.

Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

VOCs in Your Rugs and Carpets

Mass-produced, commercial rugs have often undergone extensive chemical treatments, including dye and bleach, before they end up on your floor. Some handmade rugs also use chemical treatments in their creation. These chemical treatments have a direct impact on your indoor air quality.

Carpets can also be culprits of poor indoor air quality, not only from the chemicals used to treat them, but also from the glues and adhesives used to stick them to the floor.

Health problems associated with indoor air quality can come on slow, resulting in inadequate preparation. Fortunately, we know more about VOCs today than ever before, and there's clear choices we can make when designing our interiors to err on the side of health, safety and comfort.

Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

Installing as much hard flooring as much hard flooring as you can is a way to reduce VOCs in your home. Rugs made with natural fibers can provide the comfort and warmth of carpet without the health risks. You'll be able to rest easy knowing your flooring won't negatively affect your health.

At ecoFiber, we decided early on that there's a clear link between sustainability and health and comfort. Our standards of production are based on an ethic of responsibility, which mandates choices that are good for the planet. We do not use petroleum-based fibers or chemicals. Our simple, elegant designs are not beautiful, but also sustainable and safe.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

ecoFiber Proud to Offer Product That's One-in-a-Million

100 years ago more than two million children under the age of 15 were employed in American industry in conditions that bordered on child slavery. We now live in a world where millions of children are subjected to child labor beyond our borders.

One-in-a-Million: GoodWeave’s Campaign to End Child Labor is raising awareness of the child labor epidemic in the handmade rug industry and inspiring consumers to take action. We’re proud at ecoFiber Custom Rugs that our products bear the GoodWeave label.

What’s great about GoodWeave’s campaign is that it doesn’t just inform consumers about the problem, it offers solutions.

Consumers who buy a rug that’s certified by GoodWeave can be assured that their purchase is one in a million — because adult artisans made it, not child laborers. At ecoFiber, adult workers whose families are provided health care and tuition hand make our rugs in Nepal, where they use only natural fibers and chemical free vegetable dyes, creating products of true ethical elegance.

GoodWeave offers ways that concerned citizens can help end child labor in the handmade rug industry, including insisting on the GoodWeave label when shopping for a handmade rug. Check out more ways to get involved with GoodWeave.

Nearly a century ago, grassroots efforts helped to end child labor in the U.S. With the aid of social media tools and other unique approaches, GoodWeave is helping to eradicate child labor throughout the world. It’s inspiring. And ecoFiber Custom Rugs couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of it!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Natural Fiber Rugs and Your Family

You babyproof the house, make sure the bottles are BPA-free, ensure the car seat is safe—but did you think about getting rid of the rug in your living room?

While seemingly innocuous, it turns out non-natural fiber rugs can actually be very harmful for you and your family—especially so for the little ones who spend a lot of time crawling on the floor (and putting things in their mouths).

We’ve talked a lot about why ecoFiber Custom Rugs are environmentally friendly (like the fact they are made using vegetable dyes, maintain a low carbon footprint, and use only sustainably harvested natural fibers), but we haven’t spent much time discussing how eco-friendly rugs can be also be good for the health and wellness of your family.

Our homes are our own personal eco-systems, so it only makes sense that you’d want to mimic nature in order to create environments that are healthy and free of dangerous toxins.

Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality can be negatively affected by many things inside our homes--including the off gassing from various materials and surfaces found in paints, carpets and rugs, mattresses, bedding, furniture, and even cleaning products.

The best way to avoid these dangerous chemicals? By using the most natural and organic materials in order to enhance indoor air quality and improve the health of you and your family.

If you have babies or children in the home (who spend many hours crawling and playing on the floor), the dangerous toxins in synthetic rugs can adversely affect their development.

Because babies breathe at a faster rate than adults, they have an increased intake of toxins in relation to their body weight. Children’s hand-to-mouth activity also increases their risk of toxic intake from rugs and carpets. 

The “breathing zone” for children, and babies in particular, is closer to the ground where pollutants in many synthetic rugs are more concentrated. Infants’ bodies are not as able to detoxify and excrete toxins as easily as adults. Natural fiber rugs give babies’ immune systems the best opportunity to adapt to their new environment, without exposing them to dangerous toxic materials.

Every ecoFiber Custom rug is created without the use of any dangerous chemicals or toxins. Our dyes are made are non-petroleum based and come from safe, natural materials. Our rugs are also woven using only the softest, safest and natural and organic fibers from nature.

Purchasing a natural fiber rug means that not only will your family be healthier and happier, but so will the environment.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

ecoFiber Custom Rugs Featured on Pretty Little Green Things

A favorite blog of ours here at ecoFiber Custom Rugs is Pretty Little Green Things, a blog dedicated to showcasing the beautiful side of green design and the sustainable side of of luxury. So we were absolutely thrilled to see read the kind words Pretty Little Green Things author Petra Boykoff wrote about our luxurious, natural fiber rugs (she even called them gorgeous).

Here's some of what Miss Boykoff had to say:

When we think about carpet, most of us think ‘wool’ right? But you know what? There are so many other fiber types available and they make for really beautiful and eco-friendly rugs. Now that you know you have other options, let me tell you a bit about them, courtesy of Livingston & Associates. They sell gorgeous ecoFiber rugs that are totally custom – pattern, color, size and type & number of fibers, whatever you’d like. In addition to being green, all of their products are GoodWeave certified, meaning that inspectors visit carpet mills to make sure that no illegal child labor is used. And this group is strict! If a mill neglects that policy, the child is not only sent to a good school courtesy of GoodWeave, the mill looses its certification and has to work to get it back. Now that’s what I call fair-trade!

>>Check out Pretty Little Green Things' post on our rugs on her blog

Friday, January 28, 2011

Design San Francisco Kicking Off Next Week

Design professionals from around the country will be headed to San Francisco next week for Design San Francisco, the premier annual market for interior design. The event will take place on February 2, 3 and 4, 2011 at the San Francisco Design Center located at 101 Henry Adams St # 450.

The three days will be packed with presentations, receptions and awards ceremonies, which aim to inspire designers “with all manner of creative possibilities, provocative ideas and valuable intelligence on what’s happening locally and globally. “

The keynote speaker opening the event at 10 a.m. on February 2 will be Jeff Lewis of the popular Bravo Reality television show “Flipping Out.” Those who have seen the show know that Lewis designs beautiful, upscale and modern homes. He was recently tapped by House Beautiful to design their 2010 Kitchen of the Year and his legions of devoted fans include upscale acolytes, real estate professionals, and interior designers.

The event will also host a huge array of presentations, aimed to educate and inspire designers, some of which include topics near and dear to our hearts here at ecoFiber Custom Rugs.

Among the presentations we’re most excited about are “Demystifying Environmentally Responsible Fabric Decisions,” a keynote presentation called “Shades of Green,” and “Textiles-Inspiration, Imagination and Interpretation.”

We’re also thrilled that our own natural fiber rugs will be shown at the event—allowing designers not yet familiar with our elegant, eco-friendly and luxurious designs to see them up close and personal.

If you’re headed to San Francisco next week, make sure you keep an eye out for ecoFiber Custom Rugs and let us know what event you most enjoyed. You can also check out our rugs on permanent display at the Sloan Miyasato showroom in the San Francisco Design Center.

>>See a full list of the events or pre-register for the event

Monday, January 24, 2011

2011 Décor Trends We’re Excited About

With the arrival of 2011, it's time once again to contemplate which decorating trends will be making an impact in the coming year. Since ringing in 2011, plenty of design bloggers and publications have given their two cents on what trends will reign supreme this year.

We’re now about a month into the new year, and here are some of the most buzzed about décor trends we’re excited about in 2011.

1. Celebrate Classics

What’s old can be new again, and this is the year to integrate classic pieces into your décor. Mixing vintage items with contemporary pieces can breathe new life into the things you already own. Plus, integrating vintage pieces and flea market finds in your design is not only good for the environment, it’s also charming and cost effective.

Wondering why revamping your existing furniture is good for the environment? Here’s why refurbishing is eco-friendly:

  • You decrease the demand for virgin lumber, helping to save the forests
  • You reduce the volume of furniture such as tables and chairs in a landfill and the carbon emissions from it’s transfer to the landfill
  • You improve indoor air quality and the local environment through the use of eco-friendly primers, paints and polishes
  • Restoring old furniture can be inherently eco-friendly because many old pieces used over 50 years ago predate the chemistry of today’s toxic products.

Of course, adding a natural fiber rug to a room of newly refurbished or recovered furniture will not only complement your décor and breathe new life into a room, but is sure to stand the test of time.

2. Cultural Layering

Fashion and music can be key harbingers of what's to come in the interior design world. The recent movement towards mixing global styles will take root in the home in 2011. This 'cultural layering' calls for a mix of patterns and styles from cultures all over the world, creating a global aesthetic and ethnic style in your home.

For example, a table or chair created by craftspeople in Mexico can look great right alongside a sustainably produced rug from Nepal. Your kuba cloth will pair beautifully with your Japanese print. 2011 will all about mixing textures, fibers and patterns from around the world within the confines of your own home.

3. Nostalgia for Books

Over the past year, traditional American heritage brands - Pendleton blankets, Filson canvas bags, Red Wing ceramics – have once again become chic. This nostalgia for artifacts from a simpler time extends to books. We've seen them stacked to create side tables, arranged in unused fireplaces to create literary tableaux, and featured in wallpaper designs.

Some of the most popular architectural projects we've featured this year have included floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, and a fellow Boulder company, Juniper Books, is now specializing in building customized book collections for clients.

What better way to reflect the personality of a homeowner than their book collection? Dig out your books from storage and put them on center stage.

4. Bringing Nature Back into the Home

In the New Year, home owners will find more ways to bring tranquility to their interior and exterior environments. The use of natural materials and finishes will always be a trend that doesn’t go out of style. Not only is this a trend that’s good for the environment, it also helps bring nature back into the home.

More and more interior designers (like Robin Wilson and Alison Pollack) are preaching the gospel of how bringing natural materials into the home is not only beneficial to the environment, but also to your health and wellness. After all, your home is your eco-system, and filling it with furniture and décor made from natural fibers promotes your wellness and the wellness of the planet.

>>Find out more about the natural fibers used in our rugs and why vegetable dyed rugs are better.

5. Green Home Décor

Finding more sustainable ways to build, decorate and live will continue to flourish in 2011. This is good news for us at ecoFiber Custom Rugs, since our rugs are produced with minimal impact on the environment. Not only do we maintain an extremely low carbon footprint (our weavers don’t even rely on electricity), but we also promote water quality and sustainable harvesting of the natural fibers used in our rugs.

Interest in the benefits and use of environmentally friendly products continues to grow, making the green movement stronger than ever. This is especially prevalent for homeowners who are looking to build and decorate their homes in ways that support the environment. Purchasing a natural fiber rug is one small step towards a greener, more comfortable home.