Merida

Posts Tagged: sustainable design


10
Mar 10

Knitted items for charity

As the days get shorter and the weather becomes colder, the need for knit hats, socks, scarves, and blankets becomes greater for people in need. Merida always has left over yarn in our Fall River facility where we weave tufted and viewpoint rugs. Our yarns are 100% New Zealand wool which is a renewable, biodegradable fiber that has natural insulating properties to retain heat and increase cooling effectiveness.

Debbie Bozak from the Dartmouth YMCA knitting group approached us if we wanted to donate our scrap yarns to Charity Knitting. So far, they have donated 26 hats, 17 scarves, 7 blankets, a pair of slippers and a headband to the Solanus Casey Food Pantry in New Bedford, serving residents in southcoast Massachusetts and Bristol County. In the past, blankets have been given to Women’s Center, hats and scarves to Market Ministry, various homeless shelters, battered women shelters, and food pantries in their local area. In all, this wonderful group has donated well over 200 items. Debbie says, “I never expect to see the items I make ever again. I just hope they help someone out and keep them warm and safe and lets them know someone was thinking about them.”

These women ranging from young to old, with varying skill level love creating knitted items that keep people feeling warm and dry, especially during the holiday and winter months. They meet at the Dartmouth YMCA, 276 Gulf Road, Dartmouth, MA during the school year on Mondays 1-2pm to socialize and knit. They are happy to invite new members and teach beginners how to knit.

Donna Edberg, the director of the knitting group says, “I have to say that the yarn [Merida] donates to us is the most beautiful and lovely yarn to work with. We are all a bit of yarn snobs and using acrylic is doable but real wool is so much better. We also know that the real wool will make the items we make that much warmer. When Debbie brings in the yarn we all crowd around oohing and ahhing. We thank you so much for the generous donation that helps supply us with beautiful quality yarn that helps our neighbors who need it.”

Other than knitting winter accessories, yarn can have more of a function in the home than on the body. Holly from Decor8 posted a blog about making yarn wreaths, inspired from Katie Runnels who posted a tutorial on her blog. These DIY yarn wreaths can be made to match any décor and can also be a thoughtful gift for friends and family. So if you have scrap yarn from your knitting projects, definitely head to your local crafts store to pick up yarn wreath supplies.

From left to right: Debra Bozak, Stacy Lague, Brenda Macedo, Susan Ferguson, Rose Amaral, Nancy MacEachern and Donna Edberg

From left to right: Debra Bozak, Stacy Lague, Brenda Macedo, Susan Ferguson, Rose Amaral, Nancy MacEachern and Donna Edberg

knitting ladies

Top Left: Donna Edberg Top Right: Ann Hull Bottom Left: Nancy MacEachem Bottom Right: Rose Amaral


3
Feb 10

Economic sustainability in Brazil

“The hinterland has everything we need; if not, we invent it.”

This phrase, the motto of the Brazilian co-op community where our new sisal rugs are made, summarizes the spirit of the Nordestino – people from the Northeast of Brazil. Living in the poorest region of Brazil and subject to severe periodical droughts, the Nordestino are resourceful, upbeat and entrepreneurial. Our partnership with this community both draws on and fuels that spirit.

We believe that our strong business relationship with the community is the best way we can help them become successful. Rather than simply donating money for their social programs and activities, our business helps the farmers generate their own resources. We pay fair prices for their products and lend our weaving expertise to improve the quality and sophistication of their design capabilities.

The constructions for our newest sisal collection were developed on hand looms by Merida designers in Fall River, MA.  The weavers at the co-op in Brazil then creatively transformed the prototypes into machine-woven patterns. Although the designs were created by us, we have allowed our Brazilian partner to sell these patterns in South America themselves. Keeping with our strategy to support the community through business, the co-op will pay Merida a small royalty on all sales they make of our patterns. This money will be used to create a fund to help support the many social and educational programs the co-op provides for its community.

We look forward to reporting on the success of this program and how it has helped the community along on its path to success and self-sufficiency. Merida Partners (customers enrolled in our subscription program) will receive samples of these new items in February. Check back soon for more news, or click here to watch a video about these new items!

Mandacaru City, Valente Coast and Paraiba River

New trend-right grey colorways: Mandacaru City, Valente Coast and Paraiba River

Valente Bay

Valente Bay, a heathered black and grey boucle sisal weave.


4
Dec 09

And the winners are…

I’m so excited to announce the winners of our Tufted Rug Design Contest! The three  young designers we selected as the winners are Kelsey Arbona, Massiel Grullon, and Alland Torchon. Chosen by a panel of some of Boston’s top designers, the judges have nothing but great things to say about these young artists and their interpretations of sustainable design. Most of all, everyone is looking forward to seeing these designs translated into a collection of tufted rugs next spring!

Each of the three winners will receive an area rug of their own design as their prize. We also plan to make a $5,000 donation to AFH to help further their arts programs for young people.

It has been a wonderful and collaborative journey for Merida and AFH the past few months. Since our paths crossed a year ago, we have found amazing synergy with AFH in our shared passion of art, design, sustainability, and social responsibility. We look forward to creating brand new products infused with this passion and will keep you updated on our product development process as it progresses over the next few months.

To meet all the young designers who participated in the contest and see their final submissions, come to AFH’s Annual Holiday Open House, “For the Love of Art” on December 15 from 3:00-7:00 p.m. at the EpiCenter. Stop by to peruse and purchase student produced art to support this great non-profit organization just in time for the holidays. And stay tuned for our blog post on the event!

To see all the student submissions, please click here.

From the top: Alland Torchon, Massiel Grullon and Kelsey Arbona

From the top: Alland Torchon, Massiel Grullon and Kelsey Arbona Photo by Mary Nguyen, Artists for Humanity


23
Nov 09

AFH student design judging event

Last month we announced the Tufted Rug Design Contest for young designers from Artists For Humanity. As the contest came to a close earlier this month, we hosted two judging events for our panel of 14 interior and graphic designers. Six participants submitted their rug designs for the final judging and displayed them on inspiration boards that featured written and visual descriptions of the story behind the designs (see below for photos of each board!). The judges were blown away by the thoughtfulness and maturity that the designers exhibited in their interpretations of sustainability and how they translated their ideas into rug designs.

Merida and AFH asked the judges to examine each design closely, thinking about color trends, target markets (eco-conscious consumers),  originality and expression of the contest’s theme. “Innovation is grounded in opportunity and creativity as well as responsibility,” said Nilda Martin of Phi Design Group, one of the contest’s judges, “All three are fundamental ethics for our company and our partners – AFH and Merida, and I am thrilled to be involved with this project.”

“Merida and AFH represent leaders in innovation, connectivity to community and bringing art and design to the younger generation,” said another judge, Denise Korn of Korn Design. “I believe in these organizations and we are lucky to have them here in Boston!”

Our panel of judges also included talented design professionals from the following local art, design, and educational organizations: C & J Katz Studio, Duffy Design Group, Gauther Stacy, Heather G. Wells, Heidi Pribell Interiors, Hutker Architects, Judd Brown Designs, Myre Design, and Walker Contemporary Gallery.

Next week we will announce the three winners and their prizes, so stay tuned!

Our conference room was transformed into a gallery of beautiful artwork!

Our conference room was transformed into a gallery of beautiful artwork!

Submission by Stephen Cronin

Submission by Stephen Cronin

Submission by Massiel Grullon

Submission by Massiel Grullon

Submission by Derrick Houston

Submission by Derrick Houston

Submission by Jamilya Williams

Submission by Jamilya Williams

Submission by Kelsey Arbona

Submission by Kelsey Arbona

Submission by Alland Torchon

Submission by Alland Torchon

Judges discussing the submissions

Judges discussing the submissions

Judge Dennis Duffy reading a participant's inspiration board

Judge Dennis Duffy reading a participant's inspiration board