Wonderful Weaves: Turning Plastic into Textiles
Carolyn Tucker discovers the INspirational story behind this stunning collection of rugs and textiles, which are creating a better environment in more ways than one.
From sailing on the high seas to selling beautiful products which help rid the waterways of plastic, Nikki and Rupert Rowe’s shared love of the environment has taken them down an unexpected path.
“We met when we were working on yachts about 14 years ago. Never in our wildest dreams did we expect to have this store but we’re so lucky to be in Noosa selling this amazing product line,” Nikki said.
Nikki and Rupert have been granted exclusive rights to sell Weaver Green in Australia – a range developed by a Devonshire-based couple with their own extraordinary story.
After coming across a rudimentary fishing rope made from plastic bottles while travelling in Asia, the Weaver Green founders were intrigued and inspired by this strong and waterproof rope that had been used to tether fishing boats.
Would it be possible to take some of the mountains of plastic waste polluting our seas and landfill and turn it into a useful, practical yarn?
“It took the founders of the company several years to perfect the yarn so that it feels exactly like wool or cotton or linen,” Nikki explained.
“They poured so much time and passion into developing the product and when people see and feel the range they’ve produced, they cannot believe it’s made from plastic.
“They’ve created these environmentally-friendly rugs and textiles without compromise. The products are machine washable, they can be used indoors and outdoors, won’t go mouldy if they get wet – and they’re beautiful as well as durable.”
Nikki and Rupert opened Noosa-based Weaver Green Australia last year after discovering the range in the UK and approaching the owners about selling it here.
They were initially drawn to the gorgeous designs, textures and quality fabrics but become true devotees when they learned the backstory.
“They take 40 per cent of the plastic bottles from waterways, mainly in the Ganges, where local women collect them,” said Nikki.
“These women are now paid well and it gives them purpose and a job that is also good for the environment. The two main weaving houses for Weaver Green are also in India.
“For us, we wanted to do something that makes a positive impact. We’ve become such a consumerist society and this takes a single use product and turns it into something you can have in your home for decades. That was the key element for us.”
In addition to their beautiful floor rugs, Weaver Green Australia stocks cushions, blankets, throws, footstools and a French linen range of tablecloths and napkins.
“The huge floor cushions also make great dog beds; and the picnic rugs, blankets and towels are quick drying and don’t trap sand and dirt,” Nikki said. “Perfect for the beach or camping.”
“We offer a full refund if you take something home and find it doesn’t suit your décor or you change your mind.”
So is it possible to pick a favourite from this fabulous collection?
“Every time new stock comes in I think ‘Ooooh, this is my new favourite’,” she laughed.
“I really love the Andalucia Cadiz rug which is a beautiful boho-style with subtle colours, and the Nomad rug which is more like a traditional Persian rug.
“But there are so many beautiful styles and textures and designs to choose from, and best of all, by having these products in your home you’re helping the planet.”
How does Weaver Green turn plastic into stunning products?
Step 1. Take disused PET plastic bottles and shred them to into very fine strips
Step 2. Heat and backcomb the strips until tiny fibres start to open
Step 3. Spin and stretch the fibres to create a beautiful, soft and resilient yarn
Step 4. Using non-toxic dyes, transform the yarn into a rainbow of different colours
Step 5. Once dry and ready to use, we hand loom the recycled yarn using traditional weaving techniques
Step 6. Create gorgeous rugs and textiles that will brighten any home, business or garden
WEAVER GREEN | 5/33 Gateway Drive, Noosaville | Phone 5231 9805