Materials are upcycled to a higher value aesthetical product, without using new resources or child labour, and in accordance with “cradle-to-cradle” principles (cyclical resource use and production process, sustaining existing values, free of harmful residues, recyclable (an indeed upcyclable) and compostable)
Using finest craftsmanship, Second Life Rugs are hand knotted from ecologically produced textile factory residues. Instead of, as is the case with recycling, converting high-value resources into a lower-value product (such as insulation materials), the material is upcycled to original aesthetical high pile rugs, needing no additional production or processing of raw materials. The wool used does not have to be produced; it is already spun and dyed and obtains a “second life” this way. The colours and shapes the fibres take on when boiled are formed into harmonious natural compositions without predictable patterns or industrial perfection. Through “planned happenstance” a “landscape” is created that invites the eye to wander over it again and again. In contrast to industrial production, the opulent rugs show their high value through the intensive use of material and a fair production process in Europe. Second Life Rugs demonstrate that textile residues can be refined to sustainable products that satisfy the highest expectations in terms of design, comfort and quality; insulate and ensure a healthy indoor climate while protecting the environment.
The label Second Life Rugs follows the maxim of social design: The harmony of design, ecology and socially compatible creation.
GOTS-certified (free of pesticides or other harmful products) wool is used, which is already spun and dyed (with dyes free of heavy metals) and only needs to be cut and felted (using power from renewable sources). The rugs absorb formaldehyde, nicotine and sulphur dioxide, are compostable and can be recycled. Compared to using “new” wool the number of production steps is reduced by approximately 75%. Energy use and methane gas release into the atmosphere through sheep raising are avoided. Second Life Rugs help change mindsets and promote the upcycling philosophy. Sustainability does not mean sacrifice.
Already as a student Ute Ketelhake became interested in recycling and upcycling. She further developed her ideas while working in the textile industry and as a university lecturer. To her, Good Design must include ecology and sustainable and socially responsible production.