In a world where sustainability and ethical sourcing is increasingly important, interior designer and The Block judge Darren Palmer is hitting the zeitgeist with the launch of his first rug collection. Comprised of six unique designs, the line-up of environmentally conscious rugs is ethically produced and affordably priced, reflecting his desire to make high quality design accessible to the masses. “I believe in the democratisation of good design,” says Darren, who talked us through the collection recently.
“It was very important to me that the rugs were ethically made, and they are all Good Weave certified ensuring that no child labour is involved in their creation,” says Darren. Moreover, the primarily Indian factories involved in their production provide education for their workers (and their workers’ children) ensuring a brighter future for all. “It’s something that I’m really passionate about and while it cost more to set up, I’m proud that we have done it.”
Darren’s favourite rug from the collection, Travertine is available in silver and brown and is made from undyed, unbleached 100% New Zealand wool. Known for its long strands, New Zealand wool creates a durable and relatively shed-resistant product that is high in lanolin too, making for some water resistance. “Handmade and sorted into different natural colours, these rugs exhibit a lovely variation in colour and texture including irregular banding and all-natural hues,” says Darren.
An indoor/outdoor marvel that is arguably the most innovative piece in the collection, the Bedrock design is made from recycled PET plastic (eight-to-14 plastic bottles collected from landfill or the ocean go into each rug). Suitable for indoor and outdoor undercover use, it is perfect for spaces with dogs and small children given it’s so easy to clean. “But despite its outdoor suitability, it boasts a thick, heavy and extremely soft texture. It’s hard to explain how mind warping it is that the Bedrock is an outdoor rug. It’s got a lovely big pebbly weave and is really soft to touch,” says Darren.
Made from jute and trimmed with cotton, this design has allowed Darren to explore one of his favourite fibres. “Jute is one of the most sustainable fibres on the planet because the earth is left more nourished after it’s harvested than it is before it’s planted. Jute nourishes the soil.” The design is made from jute stem rather than the root, which results in a silky hand feel.
Named after Zen sand gardens and inspired by Darren’s beloved Hyams Beach, this design is made from wool with a touch of viscose for sheen. “This one is hand-tufted and hand-carved. All the shaping is done by hand,” says Darren.
A blend of chevon, under-over and twisted knot patterns, this design features a mix of polyester and viscose materials making it super family friendly as it’s so easy to clean. “It’s very flat under foot so it’s a great, flat, family rug. While it looks ok in the pictures I can’t stress how beautiful this one is in real life!”
The rugs officially launched yesterday, come in three standard sizes and are available in store at Carpet Court and OZ Design Furniture and online at Myer and Temple & Webster. Prices range from $499 to $3,490.
Photography: The Palm Co.