What if we told you that your guilt-inducing plastic bottles can now be put to good use? Sounds impossible, right? It isn’t anymore, because Delhi-based carpet manufacturer The Rug Republic does exactly that with its line of contemporary Indian handmade rugs. Made entirely from plastic scrap, they come in colours and patterns you would never have thought possible.
“The Rug Republic is a pioneer when it comes to recycled products and it is the only Indian rug brand that has a Global Recycling Standards (GRS) certification,” explains Raghav Gupta, the brand’s director of e-commerce, adding, “Plastic bottles are first converted into yarn through chemical and mechanical processes. Cotton, wool and other materials are sourced from farms and made into thread. Recycled materials like denim and silk from saris are sourced from around the world. Then these materials are sanitised, treated and prepared to be made into rugs.”
Converting discarded plastic and other materials into yarn is the first of many steps to create the final product. Threads are dyed into myriad colours to suit a variety of designs, created by an exclusive team of designers. These designs are converted into stencils, and then samples, and eventually the finished product is ready after rigorous quality checks, design refinements and other tweaks. This detailed procedure takes place at the brand’s manufacturing units in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, as well as a few other manufacturing units scattered across the country.
Other than rugs, they also manufacture cushion covers and pouffes to suit a variety of tastes and sensibilities. Highlighting the brand’s USP, Gupta shares, “The Rug Republic is most often lauded for its ability to churn out modern designs while maintaining traditional techniques. But there’s more to us than that. We believe that our success means nothing if it doesn’t uplift everything and everyone around us. Right from the artists who make the rugs to Mother Earth, we believe in protecting the interests of everyone by moving forward as a collective. We are proud to say that over 300 recycled plastic bottles are utilised in making a single rug. Our factories are powered by solar energy, furthering our commitment to sustainability.”
The results are evident in their contemporary and soothing-to-the-eye designs that appeal to millennials with global sensibilities as well as older generations with a traditional bent of mind. One only needs to visit their website (trrhome.com) or browse through their selection on display at other e-commerce portals, to see for themselves. Those who prefer to touch and feel a product before investing in it can visit their experience centre in Okhla, Delhi.
The idea is to stay ahead of the curve. So, on the anvil is the introduction of augmented reality features on their website to allow people to visualise how the rugs will look inside their homes. Additionally, the brand is working on increasing its offline presence to over 100 marketplaces around the country within the next 12 months.