Our Rating: 4/5 (See: How Leaf Score is calculated)
- Reversible and doesn’t shed
- Great for insulating and soundproofing
- Made with sustainably-harvested and biodegradable fibers
|Country of Origin:||India|
Safavieh’s Cape Cod Collection includes handwoven natural jute rugs in a variety of designs (View on Amazon). The rugs are reversible, don’t shed, and are great for insulating and soundproofing. Those made solely with jute are not treated with chemicals, do not off-gas, and are made with sustainably-harvested and biodegradable fibers that are twice-washed to get rid of most residual dirt and loose plant matter. Some of the rugs in the Cape Cod Collection feature cotton and other materials, however, the provenance of which is not disclosed. This cotton is unlikely to be organic and may well have been grown with and treated with chemicals.
The Safavieh jute-only rugs are generally good options that are sustainable, non-toxic, and eco-friendly, but be careful when browsing listings for other rugs in the Cape Cod Collection. Check the specifications and ask questions where necessary.
Safavieh have been in business for over a century and offer a wide range of sustainable, eco-friendly products. They work with artisans worldwide, and use natural materials such as jute, cotton, sisal, and recycled fabrics and fibers. They are certified by the Sustainable Furnishings Council as making a conscious effort to select sustainable natural materials that are legally harvested and responsibly produced, in addition to recycled content. They also request that suppliers decrease their use of known toxic chemicals for treatments, binders and finishes, replacing compounds that compromise indoor air quality and are harmful to human health. Safavieh also ask vendors to use textiles with a lower environmental impact, such as organic cotton instead of conventionally-grown cotton and they pay living wages (not just minimum wage).
The company is taking steps to reduce energy consumption and offset carbon emissions and have replaced a portion of the energy they consume with certified renewable energy, either directly or indirectly. Safavieh are also a member of the ORIA (The Oriental Rug Importers Association), an organization that supports the needs of children and their families in major carpet weaving districts around the world.
Safavieh vs. West Elm vs. VivaTerra
With so many natural fiber and jute rugs available, why Safavieh? This company is far from perfect but is strides ahead of most competition. We favor the West Elm Jute Boucle Rug in this category, for reasons explained below. But, unlike almost every other company selling jute rugs, Safavieh are certified by the Sustainable Furnishings Council as having demonstrated at least some commitment to environmentally sound manufacturing and ethical labor practices. We’d like to see more, but their steps in this direction are positive and important.
Aside from West Elm, and perhaps a handful of much smaller, hard to track-down, one of a kind jute and seagrass rugs, Safavieh offer your best bet for eco-friendly natural fiber rugs. If you have the budget, go for the West Elm Jute Boucle Rug, which is handmade to Nest standards and likely to last longer and perform better than most other jute rugs available. It is also reversible, unlike West Elm’s Sunbeam jute rugs which feature a cotton backing. The cotton backing also means they gather more dust, and these rugs are more expensive than many others in this category but do offer that slight pop of color if a single fiber rug isn’t to your taste.
Safavieh Jute rugs are a great option if you’re looking for a chunkier rug with a richer hue, but the West Elm Jute Boucle Rug is the winner in this category. If you’re looking for a paler, more uniform color and intend to use the rug in a high-traffic area, the seagrass rugs from Safavieh are a good option. However, the Safavieh Seagrass rugs are less eco-friendly as they feature cotton edging and a synthetic polypropylene backing. VivaTerra also offer seagrass rugs which, like West Elm, are not backed by any eco-certifications but do appear to be eco-friendly in construction.