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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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All photos courtesy of SUGO Cork Rugs.