We hear a lot about sustainable fashion, but the arena of sustainable homewares is relatively unchartered territory. La Bodem wants to change that. The Amsterdam-based rug brand, which was founded this year, seeks to offer a natural and timeless alternative to a market that's dominated by synthetic materials. Guided by Sustainability Consultant Florine Beukers and Creative Director Marieke van Elsäcker, the brand settled on jute, aka 'the golden fibre', an entirely biodegradable, compostable and recyclable natural fibre that is soft underfoot and highly durable.
La Bodem takes its name from the Dutch word for soil, ground or base. "Floors are quite literally the foundation of your interior, the first layer," Florine tells me. "La Bodem jute rugs offer a grounding layer of nature as the base of your home." The moniker is also an ode to the soil that nurtures the corchorus plant from which jute is obtained. It's something of a wonder plant that, as Florine explains, grows abundantly without the use of pesticides, requires little water and space and absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen faster than trees.
What distinguishes La Bodem from many of its rug-making counterparts is its made-to-order approach to production. Taking a stand against waste, over-production and unethical labour, the brand produces each rug on an individual basis. Customers choose the size, shape and colour (natural, navy, rust or sage) and the weavers get to work. Not only is this method easy on the environment, it results in a truly unique one-of-a-kind rug that is tailored perfectly to its owner's home.
In our current age, which is characterised by a detrimental 'more is more' mentality, La Bodem's eco-friendly approach seems like the only logical one. "Sustainable craftsmanship is the only option," asserts Florine. "By now, everyone's aware that our past ways of consumption and production will be the end of us. We need to slow down and recalibrate our balance with nature in order to sustain. We can do better."