The Idealist

Modern Heroes: SUGO Cork Rugs

Ethical design is so important in today’s world. The cork tree, for example, is a perfect example of sustainability. Only the bark is removed for commercial use, leaving the tree to continue to flourish and produce more cork. The use of cork has become increasingly popular again over the past years as more designers make use of the raw product in creative and unusual ways. It is therefore comforting to find an emerging design brand with sustainability at its heart. SUGO Cork Rugs is a Portuguese brand who design and create beautiful floor coverings using cork. They are the only manufacturer in the world to produce this type of rug using the methods, materials and techniques in a unique way.

We try to stay committed to our cause by creating a product that respects the environment

Susana Godinho, Founder of SUGO

We met with the founder of SUGO, Susana Godinho, to find out what sustainability means to her.

IDEALIST: What does sustainable design mean to you?

Sustainable design for me is based on attitudes and practices which intentionally engage social and environmental issues, whilst recognizing the consequences of our decisions and actions. For me, it’s to focus on a responsible design by using sustainable materials, with the aim of reducing waste and inventing a pragmatic aesthetic that will meet tomorrow’s needs.

Ethical Designs

IDEALIST: How is SUGO CORK RUGS a radical step forward for ethical design?

We try to stay committed to our cause by creating a product that respects the environment from several perspectives, allied with good practices. We work closely with our local suppliers, using recycled textiles or natural raw fibers, such as pure wool or linen, along with the cork to create a fully rounded ethical solution. Our design signature uses graphic details or color blocks in a classic type of weaving with the insertion of the cork on the rugs, therefore, creating a unique and innovative product.

Gathering all this together, we can offer the client not only a very special rug, but also a versatile design piece which can either be a classic rug or a more “cool” and colorful one.

Company Goals

IDEALIST: What are SUGO’s top 3 goals?

The first of all is to become recognised internationally as a new brand of rugs.

Next would be to work globally with the top international design offices and design stores.

And the last, to grow and become a worldwide rug company known not only for cork rugs, but also for caring about sustainable issues.

Design Inspirations

IDEALIST: What are your biggest design inspirations?

Well, creativity comes naturally and you find it easier when you love what you create, keeping in mind the performance and functionality of the product during the making of it.

Most of our inspiration comes from travelling, however further inspiration comes from observing objects such as tiles, fabrics, and focusing on the detail. People and different cultures are also always inspiring to observe and influence us in many ways.

IDEALIST: Name your 3 favourite things about Portugal.

I just love my little country. The more I travel, the more I like Portugal. Naming just 3 favourite things about Portugal is very hard to answer. However, my top three are the beauty and history found within the country, the kindness of the Portuguese people and the simple fact that it is a small, peaceful and quiet place on the Atlantic Ocean.

Most of our inspiration comes from travelling, however further inspiration comes from observing objects such as tiles, fabrics, and focusing on the detail.

What’s On the Horizon

IDEALIST: What new, exciting projects do you have on the horizon?

This year was very exciting with the launch of the brand. We already have many projects in hand with some of the top architects and designers in Portugal.

We recently started our internationalisation process, with punctual presences at international fairs such as London Design Fair. We hope that people will start to follow our progress, as there are a lot of new and exciting things coming up next year.

You May Also Like

All photos courtesy of SUGO Cork Rugs.

  • Roddy is an Interior Stylist and Pop Up Expert who is passionate about finding emerging designers and the latest trends. Based in London, he works on many projects across the design industry. A family heritage in interior restoration and design meant Roddy was surrounded by experts from the very beginning. Constantly absorbing the knowledge around him, Roddy’s eye for detail and quality evolved over time, giving him an intrinsic sense for what makes a product stand out. Instagram: @roddyclarkedesign. Website:

  • Comments

You May Also Like

Meet the Maker : Ana Kerin of KANA London

KANA offers a bespoke range of beautifully hand-made and hand-painted ceramics for the home, as well as also offering workshops for those who are ...

Sienna bed by Feather and black

Modern Hero: Dan Wade of Feather & Black

Dan Wade, it seems, quite literally has a “dream” job, working as Managing Director to Feather & Black – a ...

It's the Feel of Teal - a Colour for Every Season

Modern Hero: Charlie Marshall of Loaf

Charlie Marshall is the amazing and very creative Founder of Loaf ( – a company who describe themselves as providing ...