We recently hosted a Merida trade event in the Circa Charlotte shop and learned about some very interesting (and exciting) endeavors they have taken on over the years. Merida has traveled the world, high and low, in search of the highest quality goods available to produce their products. Some of these items are located in extremely remote areas of the world, such as their jute products from the state of Kerala in Southern India and their abaca products from the Philippines. In both of these cases, Merida has worked hard to create strong relationships with small, family-owned businesses trying to make not just a living, but a way of life. They are also importing their sisal products from Belgium (which is the main reason for why Merida was able to enter the floor-covering market, when they were primarily a wall-covering dealer with goods out of Mexico), a partnership that began in the late 1980’s, and their hand-woven sisal products from Brazil, where they employ 900 people (dramatically raising the living standards) on a farming community in the rural northeast region.
All 4 of these overseas partners are monitored regularly by Merida’s Sustainability director to ensure that working conditions are safe and legal: no child labor, fair compensation for workers, hour restrictions in place and sustainability standards- set by Merida- are being met. Which brings me to my next point… all of Merida’s natural products are Green Label Plus Certified for low emitting VOC’s- the chemicals used are free of carcinogens and other harmful chemicals.
On top of all of this, one of the most important things that these partnerships are creating is jobs. Merida is allowing populations to grow and thrive, to be self-sustaining, while eliminating harmful waste that could contaminate everything from the water to the farmland these small populations depend on to survive. Because of Merida’s support, they have boosted the economic fortunes of a developing country (India), built houses for their weavers (Philippines) and given jobs back to many Americans in Fall River, MA- which lost so much as a textile town with much of the industry moving to China for lower production costs.
Here is a clip that Nicola, our Merida rep, shared with me. It’s a neat video that shows how their jute rugs are made.
We would love to show you some of their incredible products- made even more beautiful by knowing how and where they are produced. These rugs are giving others in great need a home, while making yours even more fabulous. Here are a few pictures I took from our event:
(Above: A peak at some of the many, many products produced by the partnerships and mills mentioned earlier)
(Above: New products from Celerie Kemble's line for Merida)
(Above: Customization is not an issue!)
Come see us at Circa to see and feel these products. Anyone in the design studio would be happy to assist you!