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Sweater Rugs to help revive historic textile town hit by recession
20
May '10
Merida, a Boston based textile designer has launched Sweater Rugs, an innovative new designer rug series imitating the feel of hand knitted wool sweaters with a fashion twist for the floor. Besides blending luxury with sustainability, the Sweater Rugs will be manufactured in Fall River, Massachusetts with aspirations to help revive a historic textile town hard-hit by recession.

Merida Sweater Rugs pay tribute to the thick, cozy garments that have kept New Englanders warm for hundreds of years. Woven of un-dyed New Zealand Wool, a rapidly renewable material, they will offer both luxury and a safe product for the home. Merida continues to focus on the sustainable aspects of their products by manufacturing Sweater Rugs locally in Massachusetts.

But don't think sustainability means compromising on style. "For us great design means innovation that encompasses sustainability in every way: environmentally, socially and economically, and creates beautiful and timeless products," says Catherine Forster Connolly, Merida's CEO. "For people to truly embrace sustainability as a lifestyle, products must be well-designed, durable and beautiful as well."

Part of the Sweater Rug story is the social and economic aspects of manufacturing in Fall River. Fall River was famous during the 19th century as the leading textile-manufacturing center in the US. It has since lost between 13,000 and 14,000 manufacturing jobs this decade due to globalization of the textile industry. With an unemployment rate currently over 17%, Fall River can surely use the support Sweater Rugs promise with significant market demand.

Early buzz from customers is extremely positive, and Merida anticipates a strong response from interior designers and consumers. To further support the launch of the Sweater Rug line, Merida has redesigned their website, so that the public can view photos of the Sweater Rugs and other natural fiber rugs and also obtain samples. Merida will also be advertising the sweater rugs in the June issue of Elle Décor magazine.

Merida Meridian

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