When we made our way through the Tuttobene show at the Milan Furniture Fair this year, we initially thought Manon Juliette’s ‘Feliz’ leather rug was simply a delightfully tactile creation. However, closer inspection revealed that sustainability enters the design story at almost every stage of this charming creation. As well as looking at the ecological impacts, the Dutch designer has incorporated social benefits, considering everyone involved in the lifecycle of these decorative pieces.
In addition to providing the customer with a beautiful, sustainable design, Juliette has developed a process that enables the rugs to be manufactured by people with disabilities in Brazil, providing them with a source of employment. Manon’s positive approach to her work extends to the product’s name: ‘Feliz’ means ‘luck’ in Portuguese, and was inspired by the four leaf clover shape design of each leather piece that comprises the rugs.
All of the leather that goes to make the rugs has been saved from landfill: it’s all sourced from offcuts of nearby factories. Manon’s process allows the rugs to be fixed together using nothing but the leather itself, eliminating the need for harmful glues or plastics. The modular design enables the rugs to be extended or divided as necessary throughout its life, guaranteed to fit whatever home the owner decides to move into next.
The rugs are available in a variety of colors, including white, red, green, black or brown. Although Manon explains that there is a bit of a wait for silver because few offcuts are produced in this color. And, given the modular design, she can combine colors to provide a personalized combination for customers who want to assert their individuality.
+ Manon Juliette
+ Milan Design Week 2008 @ Inhabitat