Posts Tagged: sustainable design

Oct 10

Officially Pure

Merida Pure Wool Green Label PlusThe past few years have been challenging for us all but optimism in the air as we enter the final quarter of 2011. The optimism is not so much in the economy as in the innovation and creativity that hard-times have inspired.  This has been one of the major drivers behind Merida’s 2010 theme “breaking new ground”.

We are thrilled almost weekly with new developments and opportunities and this week we are excited to announce one more way we are “breaking new ground” with our first ever Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Green Label Plus certification awarded for our Pure Wool Rugs.

CRI’s Green Label Plus certification sets the highest standard ever set by the carpet industry for indoor air quality. The program uses an independent testing program to measure the total volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions as well as individual chemical concentrations in a rug.

Merida Kids Play on Pure Wool

Merida Kids Take a Break on Pure

To receive Green Label Plus certification, carpets must undergo a 14-day testing process that measures emissions for a range of chemicals and is administered by an independent laboratory. The test methodology was developed in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The testing and certification process is completely voluntary and Pure is just the first of our products to be sent for testing. While we anticipate more certifications, we wanted to start with a slam-dunk and we knew Pure was, well Pure.

This third-party verification is a big deal for our partners and us. First of all designers and consumers are becoming ever more concerned with indoor air quality and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Products like Pure are going to certifiably perfect for those that also want plush, soft natural flooring.

Merida Pure Wool

Merida Kids Play on Pure

Pure is going to be great for designers and architects as well because with the Green Label Plus certification Pure can contribute one full Indoor Environmental Quality Credit to the LEED ratings of the U.S. Green Building Council.

As we said, we felt like Pure getting the CRI Green Label Plus Certification was a slam-dunk and here’s why:

  • Pure is made from natural, biodegradable, un-dyed materials including wool, jute, cotton and natural latex and can be composted in industrial composters at the end of its lifecycle.
  • Pure contains no brominated flame-retardants or pesticides
  • Pure is one of Merida’s lowest priced products making it perfect for wall-to-wall applications, roll orders and large area rugs.
  • Pure, besides being the perfect choice for the healthy low VOC home, is perfect for apartment buildings, hospitals and schools with its contract rating and LEED credit.
Merida Pure Wool Rug

Merida Kids Roll Their Pure Area Rug

Please feel free to order samples if you didn’t get them and more importantly, share this post so that Pure can make a difference in creating healthy AND beautiful interiors.

Get Pure Samples Here
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Read More about Wool Carpet from The Pure Collection

Merida Pure Wool Rugs

Merida Kids with Their Pure Rug

Oct 10

Broadway Has Arrived

Good news, our new Broadway inventory has arrived and samples will be shipping soon. For those who don’t know, Broadway is our 30-year-old Belgian woven sisal pattern. Its the most timeless and popular sisal rug design ever. Previously sold through showrooms and retailers under other names, the original Broadway is now available directly from Merida for the first time.

Merida’s Broadway contains the world’s highest quality sisal yarns and is woven where it originated, in Belguim where their unique spinning and weaving techniques create the most brilliant and durable products on the market. Please feel free to request samples and see it for yourself.

Inventory also means photos! Whitney and I recently worked closely with photographer Francine Zaslow, to shoot the amazing Broadway rug collection! The concept for the Broadway shoot was to allow the pattern to shine without a lot of background noise. Because Broadway is such an iconic and timeless rug for Merida, I felt the pattern should speak for itself and shine on it’s own.

Ideally, I want the consumer or designer to imagine how they would use the product so I strive to keep the composition conceptual by placing just a few pieces of furniture to start to define a room. My goal is to create a library of images that are sophisticated, refreshing and consistent from one shoot to the other. For this reason I chose to capture Broadway in the same location as we shot our Sweater Collection, in a grand gallery of Belle Mer in Newport, RI.

  • Whitney and I deciding on furniture and props for each Broadway colorway.

The final photos were just breathtaking. Soft, airy light and clean lines surrounded the rug as it warmed each setting. We wanted to highlight the location and bring the outside in, so Francine was able to pull tones shinning through the windows adding that pop of color.

  • Broadway Tupelo with Studio 534 Ironies Chairs

What I love most about the photography is the way we’re enticing the viewer to come into the photos and walk their eye through. As my eye glides across the rug, it makes it’s way toward the glowing color in the background. It’s visually engaging to travel through each image and an exit around a corner or out an open door.

  • Broadway Camel with Studio 534 Ironies Console

The colors and textures in each shot were reflective of the fall trends of ivory, camel, olive and misty blue. Francine captured multiple shots and angles in order to highlight Broadway’s 3-dimensional texture.

  • Broadway in Glacier and Beechwood paired with Ironies leather chair and vases, and Icon Groups coffee table.

We are all very excited to launch Broadway and we know many of our partners and designer friends are excited for it as well. We hope you find these photos inspirational and would love to share your photos celebrating how you used Broadway. We’ll he happy to share them with everybody!

Jul 10

5 Ways to Stop Junk Mail and Save the World

At Merida we believe that sustainability, beautiful design and happy healthy living all go hand-in-hand as demonstrated by our natural area rugs. Being eco-friendly is also something else – convenient.

“Convenient” you say? How many tips to the garbage can have you taken in your life to toss junk mail? If you add up all the junk mail you ever received and tossed it out at once, how many trash bags would you need to carry out?

Here are some staggering figures:

  • 70 hours = the time you waste per year dealing with junk mail
  • 100 million = the number of trees destroyed yearly to produce junk mail.
  • 9 million = junk mail produces more C02 than 9 million cars
  • 41 = the number of pounds of junk mail the average person receives per year
  • 1.5 = the number of pieces of actual mail the average person gets per week
  • 10.8 = the number of pieces of junk mail the average person gets per week

If the US Postal Service delivers junk mail at a 10:1 ratio to the mail I’m sending – why does the price of a first class stamp keep rising? Shouldn’t the burden of covering the rising costs of the Postal Service rest on the junk mailers disproportionately? Wouldn’t this do more to curb the practice and save the planet than making me pay more to send my mom a birthday card?

This post isn’t about Postal Service Reform so I’ll get to the point, which is learning how to stop junk mail, helping save the planet and uncluttering your life. Here are my five tips. I’ve done 1-4 and they take 15 minutes which seems like a small price to pay for putting an end to the train wreck listed above.

1. Hang up on the Yellow Pages. Do you even use the phone book with yellow pages that get’s dumped on your doorstep? Mine goes directly from my doorstep over the railing into the recycle bin. Stop getting them forced on you on your doorstep at

2. Fire junk mail at work: How much mail do you get for employees no longer at your company? There is a database at the Ecological Mail Coalition ( that solves this. By entering ex employees’ names into their database you can stop this mail. Marketers run their mailing lists through the Ecological Mail Database to remove people who won’t get their marketing materials.

3. Give yourself some credit: There is no shortage of ways to apply for credit cards or get insurance quotes so why do you need to be bombarded with offers? Stop these and other financial offers which use your credit score to pre-screen by going to To me this is also a matter of privacy!

4. Shop Where You Want: We all enjoy a nice browsing a catalog from time-to-time but how many do you get unsolicited that you will never order from? Those random catalogs can be stopped at After filling out their form, the only catalogs you will receive will be those you ask for such as from the vendors you purchase from.

5. Send in the troops: This is actually pretty cool. A non-profit company called will stop junk mail on your behalf for just over $8 per year and they give you a 100% guarantee. What’s more, they donate 1/3 of their proceeds to environmental causes and planting trees.  Let them fight junk mail for you at

I hope this gives you some real solutions for saving yourself time, eliminating clutter and helping to save the planet.  I urge you to share this link with your friends, family and even Facebook. For these steps to really make an impact on the planet we need to get lots of people to join in!

Jul 10

Inspired With Sustainability

I’m Bojan. At Merida I’m part of the marketing team where I work to create websites, technology tools also really anything else we need a hand with. I wanted to share with you the story behind one of those “other things” that inspired me.

If you are a regular reader of our blog, you probably know that we’re very passionate about sustainability. We strive to educate and inspire people outside our company and we also don’t overlook educating and inspiring our own employees.

The Sustainability Poster Mission

A month ago, Merida’s Director of Sustainability and frequent blog contributor, Zairo Cheibub asked me to create a simple poster that illustrates the fundamental problem we are facing with the environment – and the problem we are committed to helping solve.

Zairo, a former college professor and MIT student had put together a detailed document describing our environmental crisis. I immediately realized that the task of translating this into a simple poster was going to be a challenge though a necessary one to get the point across simply and effectively.

We worked together to finally boil the information down to just the key facts in chronological order so that people could more easily understand where we came from and better understand the problem with where we are going. We decided to place to poster (pictured below) in the lunchroom in our home office so that we could all learn and be inspired even while heating up leftover pasta.

Did The Poster Inspire?

I found that the process of creating this poster really inspired me and I hope it has the same impact on others. To me it illustrates that it has taken humans a handful of years to destroy something that took nature billions of years to create.

It also illustrates the negative impact oil and the petroleum industry has on the environment (something that the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf has really underscored.) The underlying message to me is that humankind needs to change its destructive ways; otherwise the living conditions on Earth will simply return to something uninhabitable.

I can tell you that it definitely opened my eyes. I knew that pollution was getting out of control but I didn’t realize that it was this bad and I work for a company dedicated to sustainable design!

If the global average temperature rises just 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit, ice caps will melt, and the coastal cities will flood! This is not your water-in-the-basement kind of flood; we’re talking about full-scale high-rise buildings under the water and that is very frightening.

Here is what I’ve personally been inspired to do:

  • From now on I’ll think twice before purchasing products that come in plastic containers.
  • I have stopped purchasing bottled water since tap water tastes fine where I live and is free.
  • I don’t use plastic grocery bags – I bring my reusable grocery bags shopping.
  • I’ve been riding my bicycle to work since I started working for Merida because my wife used our car but now that her new job is walking distance, I will continue to bike across Boston to work.

Best of all, I’m passionate about spreading the word and happy that I’m working for a company that is trying to make a difference. By creating the poster, writing this blog post, and by talking to my friends and family I’m making a difference.

Alone we can’t change much but we can inspire others to join us and that can change a lot. Please leave me a comment if you’ve found any of this inspiring or would like to share your own tips for how you’re trying to make a difference.