Ready to downsize your wardrobe? Send your discarded clothing to the women from different villages in the oasis of M’hamid El Ghizlane, Morocco, who will lovingly transform your old rags into a vibrant Carpet of Life.
The process of making these stunning rugs is a far cry from mass produced rugs. Four or five women get together to knot one ‘Carpet of Life‘ rug from old scraps of textiles. It’s labour intensive, as one medium-sized rug can take up to 6 days to finish. Selecting and cutting the fabrics as well as knotting the rug is all done by hand.
The outcome is always one-of-a-kind. Rather than having a designer decide on a pattern on the computer, you can choose the general pattern idea, and the women will use their creativity and the rags you sent, to do the rest.
Carpet of life is an initiative from social innovation studio Butterfly Works. Though this project is very much part of the upcycling trend, their main objective has always been bringing employment and empowerment to the woman living in the Moroccan dessert. Moreover, as textiles were becoming scarce in the poverty stricken region, this handicraft was at the risk of extinction. With new demand from Western Europe, 34 woman now enjoy the benefits that come with having a job and earning extra income.
For one small carpet, at least 8 kilos of textiles are needed. This can include old duvet covers, towels and such. Or, an often read story on the Carpet of life website, the wardrobe of a deceased family member. One former-fashion designer even cut-up her selfmade collection to be shipped off to Morocco. Emotional? Yes, definitely. But this makes the rug you receive in exchange even more personal, and a true heirloom forever.