At Recycled Mats we stock a range of deluxe, environmentally-responsible floor coverings for indoor and outdoor use. Our motto is "For the love of culture, for the love of our environment" which is why we use recycled materials in all our products, wherever possible.
We estimate that we repurpose around 1 million plastic bags a year in the production of our plastic mats! Our other mat designs are created from old tyres, PET drink bottles and discarded fabric offcuts from clothing factories and furniture makers. Every ‘scrap’ we can save and reuse means less waste going to landfill.
The other great thing about using recycled plastics is that it makes our mats easy to clean. You can put away all the abrasive, toxic chemical cleaning products you’d normally need for a playmat or camping rug!
Recycled plastic floor mats
Our soft, comfy and colourful range of recycled plastic floor mats are made from recycled Polypropylene. This is a plastic polymer found in medicine bottles, tin foil, shopping bags, drink bottles, carpet fibres and many other household and industrial products. It is very slow to degrade in landfill but can be melted down for recycling into other products.
To create these stylish indoor/outdoor floor mats, plastics are melted down to a thick syrupy consistency which is then put into large vats. Colours are mixed into the ‘syrup’, which is then forced through a small pipe (like a piping bag for icing) to form a thick, round weaving material. This is then quickly cooled down so that it will harden and form a strong plastic thread.
This thread is woven onto spools which can be put onto a loom. Our mats are woven together using an electric loom for fast, consistent production. Once the panels have been woven they are trimmed and the ends are stitched with black end tape. For larger mats, panels may be stitched to each other before finishing. A large floor mat takes around 15 minutes to weave once the Polypropylene content is placed on the loom.
Recycled rubber doormats
The recycled material used in our rubber doormats is imported from China. These mats are made from discarded car tyres which do not biodegrade and are a major cause of landfill concern around the world.
Our fairtrade-friendly Chinese factories make these mats and send them to Australia. Here, we have them screen printed locally with our unique, custom designs including contemporary Indigenous art and fun multicultural welcome signs using eco-friendly dyes.
Recycled fabric textile rugs
Our impressive range of textile rugs includes gorgeous Indian cotton chindi rugs and runners, jute floor mats and chic floor coverings made from wool. These exotic fabric rugs make use of discarded materials from clothing and furniture factories across India.
The process is amazing to watch! You can read more about our visit to a chindi rug manufacturer on our blog here. Fabric pieces are woven into long ropes – or ‘chindi’ – then twisted and sewn by hand into our beautiful floor rugs. The great thing about this process is that the ropes can be made by anyone, anywhere, providing flexible, work-at-home opportunities for families.
If you browse our woolen rugs, you’ll see they’re hand-tufted. Jute (or string) rugs are also created by hand then carefully burned to tidy up stray threads. Our expert manufacturers use local techniques and expertise passed down through families to create these charming treasures out of other people’s discarded waste.
Even our must-have summer picnic tables are environmentally responsible! The recycled or sustainable wood used in these tables gives them character and contributes to an eco-friendly furniture production industry. They’re in high demand, though, so non-recycled wood is sometimes used if there’s a shortage – but the aim is to include as much recycled product as possible.
Polyester cushion covers
Our fabulous cushion covers are made from 100% polyester. They're easy to care for, machine washable and made in Australia to match the designs of some of our cultural rugs. At this stage, we are not able to use recycled materials for these cushions but we're hoping to change that soon. Stay tuned!
We endeavour to minimise the amount of office and packaging waste wherever possible. Not only do we opt for courier bags made from recycled content but we also supply carry bags for most of our mats that are also manufactured from recycled plastic. Supplying beautiful products doesn’t have to cost the Earth!
If you have any further questions about the ways in which we commission designs, work with recycled materials and produce our mats, cushions and tables – contact us today
|Stage 1: Design Process|
Local Indigenous designers/artists/concept creators (see our list of Indigenous artists here) are hired to create designs that can be translated into a mat design or more often than not, we are approached by a community to assist in the creation of community-specific designs that meet their own distinct needs or, to fulfill an artist's desire to have one of their designs on a product that they too can market through their own business or community.
We only work with designers who are from the culture that is specific to each design ie all Aboriginal designs are designed by Aboriginal artists, Torres Strait designs by Torres Strait Island artists and New Zealand Maori designs by Maori artists etc.
We are also a signatory to the Indigenous Art Code and as such are committed to ethical and transparent business dealings with Indigenous artists and abide by the strict standards set out in the Code.
The design stage of the process can take anywhere from a few days to a few months or longer depending on the designer, the design involved and approval sought from community.
The "Walkabout" mat game designed in conjunction with Uncle Barry Watson took 18 months to complete and was a joint venture between Uncle Barry (concept creator) De Greer Yindimincarlie (graphic artist) and myself, JJ.
Once the sample mat has been produced and approved, the manufacturing process below can begin to bring the mats to market - please note that the process below relates to our recycled playmat range and not the recycled car tyre doormat range as these are manufactured using a different process (in brief the recycled car tyre material is imported from China and then printed locally in Australia using environmentally friendly colours and dyes).
Stage 2: Manufacturing Process
The pellets of recycled plastics and polypropylene are then mixed with the colour desired that will become the base mat colour.
The liquid then gets fed through a tube which pushes through a water pool. This pool cools the hot plastic as it passes through and allows the plastic tube lengths to be formed.
The recycled plastic tubes are checked for colour and thickness and then taken to the machines where they are placed in several slots which will be where the machine plucks the tubes from, to weave the mats.
Each mat design has it's own board "Mould" which tells the machine the design and how many colours are to be used in the mat process.
Once the mould has been loaded onto the machine then the machine can begin the mat weaving process - this stage can still be highly manual. There is a factory staff member always watching several machines at a time to ensure that each loop is thread into the loom at the correct time and place.
Once the mats are woven they go onto a roll of approx 200 mats at a time. They are then taken to the tables where a hot heat iron is used to cut and seal each mat end, and a black seal sewn onto the mat.
Quality control at the factory is done, with a manual look over the mat to ensure that all is in order. They are then packed ready for being uploaded into a container and sent to us for the Australian retail market.
Stage 3: Distribution
Once the mats have arrived in Tweed Heads at HQ, we open each box and again check for quality control.
Once final QC has been completed, the mats are re-packed and sent out to clients across the country (both retail and wholesale) which includes a variety of Indigenous community groups and businesses who then sell the mats to both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous people, schools and community groups.
Australia Post is our preferred domestic carrier. We offer a standard 30 day right of return on all our mats. No specific warranty can be given for this product as it depends on how the mat is used and under what conditions. Most schools and childcare centres are enjoying 2-3 years worth of life expectancy from the mats, families are getting much longer than this. We recommend that mats are only cleaned with soapy water and a hose, no harsh chemicals. Extended direct UV sunlight will deteriorate the mat so long-term sun exposure is not recommended and sharp objects are to be kept clear of the mats at all times.
Carly Wallace from NITV, De Greer Yindimincarlie, Wiradjuri Nation designer from Yindi Artz and myself JJ Stranan, Recycled Mats and Global Kids Oz
Jill from Black Swan Dreaming with designer De Greer Yindimincarlie from Yindi Atrz
Our soft and comfy floor mats come in a wide range of sizes and shapes. Whether you need a new camping mat, an art space for your kindy classroom or a colourful hall runner, we’ve got your floors covered!
But how do you know what’s the right size floor mat for your needs?
Start with the basics
1. Check the product description
Every product description at Recycled Mats includes details about its shape and dimensions. We will tell you whether it’s a large, rectangular mat or a smaller, circular mat, for example, along with some ideas for usage.
2. Measure your space
Grab your tape measure and write down the dimensions of your room. You may even like to sketch a room plan, to give you an idea of how much actual floor space you have that won’t be covered with other furniture. Check out our visual guide to choosing the right size mat below, or download it to print and keep while you're planning your space.
3. Consider your purpose
Think carefully - what is the purpose of this rug?
For use in a classroom, library, community centre or campsite, you’ll need a recycled mat that fits your available floor space and is lightweight for storage in between uses. Measure the size of your room, along with any cupboards or car storage options you’ll be using, before choosing the appropriate floor rug.
For use in your home or office, there are a few more ‘design rules’ you may like to consider.
Learn the ‘design rules’ for home and office floor rugs
In these spaces, you’re looking for function and flair. You’re keen to make a style statement, but you don’t want to compromise on comfort, safety or durability.
Interior designers know that well-placed floor coverings can make a room look bigger or more cosy, colourful or elegant, modern or vintage. Choose the right size and position it correctly in your room for maximum visual impact!
Rule 1: Visual impact
At Recycled Mats, we specialise in unique, eye-catching multicultural mats. Our stunning designs are often the focal point of a room, bringing a pop of colour to neutral walls or a global vibe to more eclectic spaces.
If you want your mat to be a conversation starter, ensure it is not covered by furniture in its new home. Measure your room space and compare it to the dimensions of your preferred mat to make sure your furniture can sit outside the mat’s edges.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a comfortable, practical floor covering to go underneath furniture items, aim to achieve symmetry. Place a coffee table in the centre of the rug, for example, or chairs along the edges of your mat, so that the pattern is not distorted. This will have the added bonus of giving the room a spacious feel, rather than having all furniture squeezed into a corner.
Rule 2: Definition
Use your floor rug to define the spaces in your room and the vibe you’re keen to create. Form an intimate area for conversation by grouping furniture in the centre of a large rug, leaving an equal amount of rug exposed around the edges.
Make a room appear more spacious by choosing a rug that leaves a gap of around 30cm between the edge of the rug and the walls. This leaves plenty of space for arranging furniture without spoiling the visual impact of your mat. If the rug covers the entire floor up to the walls, it stops being a feature item.
Small rugs are ideal for doormats, bedside mats or when used as a set. A small rug in a large room, like a living room or office foyer, will look out of place. It will be lost in the space, rather than defining the qualities you desire.
Hall runners are true to their name - long and rectangular for running along hallway floors. Their compact size makes them versatile; try these as bedside mats, beach mats or wall hangings.
Rule 3: Safety
We don’t often think of floor mats as risky home décor items! But if your rug is in an area with busy foot traffic, you’ll want to make sure it is not a tripping or slipping hazard.
Choose a rug that is large enough to be anchored to the floor by furniture, such as the feet of a couch or a sideboard. In a dining room, aim for a rug large enough to sit under the table and all chairs, even when the chairs are pulled out. This taps into that all-important symmetry, but also prevents curling up the edges of your rug when chairs are moved around.
Similarly, in the office, ensure your mat is not obstructing the movement of desk chairs. It should also be secured to avoid slippage. Use furniture items to pin the edges, or add a rug underlay or double-sided tape.
Keep in mind that some recycled mats or fabric rugs may become indented if positioned under furniture for a long period. In this situation, look for a rug that has a border as part of its design so that furniture can sit along the edges without spoiling the main motif.
Choosing the right size mat ensures your purchase from Recycled Mats lasts longer, suits your lifestyle and becomes a beautiful, vibrant addition to the look of your room.
One of the exciting developments this year at Recycled Mats has been adding a selection of gorgeous Indian chindi rugs to our product range. I’m proud of every product I stock, as well as my commitment to ethical manufacturing, so I recently ventured over to India to learn more about the people and processes behind our new floor coverings.
You can read the whole story of the trip on our blog here!
The chindi factory that supplies our mats is owned and run by the Jain family, who welcomed us on a hot Delhi day and drove us some 100kms north to Hariyana. There, we saw exactly how and where our chindi rugs are made.
The production process begins with around 1000 local families, who hand plait cotton and denim rags (called ‘chindi’) or string (jute) into long ropes. Some of these people use this as their main income, whereas others do it in their spare time to make a little extra family money. At the end of the day, families gather up their plaits and take them to a room in the village where they are weighed. They can work as much, or as little, as they choose.
As we walked around Hariyana we saw adults of all ages ( definitely in no way is there any child or youth labour going on here - I would drop production in a heart beat if I ever found out of any of my manufacturers exploited anyone - even the family pet!) plaiting, wherever and whenever it suited them. This flexibility means more parents can be at home with their children and save money on transport costs, which can make a world of difference in a busy family.
When the chindi ropes reach the workshops, another team sews the plaits together and works by hand to weave our beautiful chindi rugs. Stray pieces of rope or fabric are clipped away. Workers will then use an air blower to remove any dust from chindi rugs. When it comes to jute rugs, this process is actually done with fire! It was fascinating to see this process first-hand.
The last step is for the rugs to be taken to the packing house where final inspection of each and every rug is made under the watchful eye of Senior Jain. All rugs are then rolled or folded, tagged and packed ready to board a ship bound for Australia.
I was thrilled to meet some of the people who are benefiting from the extra family income they gather from making chindi ropes. The workshop runs 6 days per week and all families live nearby, which means they have a short commute to work and pop home for lunch.
It is an honour to visit places around the world where our rugs are made, knowing that the work we provide allows families the kid of work life balance we all strive for here in Australia! I am planning another trip to meet more of the team in India early in 2017 and looking forward to seeing what other opportunities that we can explore together.
Are our Indian rugs ethically made? Yes! And they're beautiful too. Browse our range of colourful chindi rugs here and order online today for fast delivery!
Looking after a traditional carpet or mat can be a gargantuan ( that means "massive" for people like me :) ) effort – they can’t withstand the wear and tear of a household with li’l ones and most importantly, they do not contribute in our global quest for a cleaner, safer environment.
Spills leave a perpetual stain, fibers may sometimes cause allergies and cleaning can become a chore. Sometimes, you just want to stash it in the storeroom and put it out of its misery.
BUT, it’s time for you to take a break and get introduced to a whole new range of floor mats that will leave you and your feet feeling relaxed and good – contemporary Siapo & recycled rubber outdoor and floor mats.
Siapo is a fine tissue like cloth made from the bark of the mulberry tree and is a symbol of many cultures in the South Pacific. Many South Pacific homes used these mats, but their tendency to crumble when wet led to them going out of use. We bring you the essence of Siapo made more versatile through the use of recycled materials (plastic bags, inners of cereal packets etc).
Our contemporary Siapo and recycled rubber floor mats are completely child friendly and resistant to spills and stains.
A quick wash with soapy water and short time on a washing line or fence will have them as clean and as good as new again. The beauty of these outdoor rubber mats is that they retain the original siapo mat design of a grid of squares containing a geometrical pattern, which reflects the cultural environment in which the mat was made – in this case Polynesia, New Zealand and Australia.
These floor mats, which come in contemporary Maori, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Island, Melanesian and Pacific Island designs, are made by the Indigenous people of New Zealand/Polynesia and Australia, with deep rooted links to both the Maori, Samoan, Tonga and Indigenous Australian cultures. With intricate detailing in design, these floor mats not only score high in the visual quotient, but also are reversible in design and can thus be placed on alternate sides as per your choice.
They are lightweight, tough and resilient as well, making it an excellent choice for play schools, camps, homes, stalls or any place with kids and adults too for that fact!
So even as your kids go on a fun spree around the house or child care centre, you don’t have to mentally groan about cleaning the floor mats! To order this revolutionary pièce de résistance www.recycledmats.com.au
Ethical & transparent manufacturing processes
We Create Ethical, Recycled Mats – So Why Do We Manufacture In China?
Our recycled mats are designed by Australian Indigenous, New Zealand Maori and Pacific Islands artists. We are committed to using authentic designs that reflect community stories and values. We are also committed to the use of recycled materials, which is important for the planet. With these strong values as part of our mission to create ethical mats, we are sometimes asked why we manufacture our products overseas?
Keeping our ethical mats affordable, without compromising quality
There are several reasons why manufacturing our recycled mats in China makes sense.
1. Better quality control
Manufacturing in China is a huge, competitive industry, which means we – as clients – can demand the highest standards of quality in the creation of our products. We build friendly, mutually-beneficial relationships with the Chinese factories that make our recycled mats, ensuring they adhere to our stipulated guidelines on ethical labour practices and efficient production that doesn’t compromise on attention to detail.
2. Greater speed and efficiency
China is our choice for manufacturing our plastic mats range because their experience producing large volumes of products ensures we can meet customer demand in a timely fashion. Some of the world’s biggest brands use Chinese factories for manufacturing, which means that large orders, strict deadlines, fast turnaround and priority shipping come as standard. Even our most complex orders can be produced on schedule at a consistent quality, which means we provide a better service to our clients.
3. Cutting edge textile technologies
China is the world’s manufacturing hub, which puts them at the cutting edge when it comes to textile and design technologies. Why ‘reinvent the wheel’ or try to purchase extremely expensive printing tools if we can pay the experts, who already use this equipment every day, to bring our local designs to life? We would rather ensure more of our profits stay local, allowing us to offer employment and fair payment to our artists and be able to donate mats to a variety of support services.
4. Cost benefits
We won’t deny it – it is cheaper to manufacture in China than Australia. But rest assured that we do not support ‘cheap and nasty’ manufacturing. We pay a higher than average rate for our production to ensure we use good factories that make high quality products.
We also only use premises that are certified for safe work practices and child free labour. We couldn’t sleep at night if we knew children were making our popular childcare mats! In fact, there are many countries where it would be even cheaper to produce our mats, but we could not guarantee the same ethical standards so we will never use them.
Once again, the savings we make from offshore manufacturing are passed on to the local artists through renumeration packages who design our Maori and Aboriginal mats, as well as their communities through donations of mats each year to a variety of support agencies nationwide.
Affordable pricing also means our products won’t break the budget of schools, daycare centres and other businesses who choose our recycled mats to help them celebrate cultural diversity, which is crucial to our mission.
<>Rest assured that our beautiful, unique recycled mats are also ethical mats. Browse our range of superior quality indoor / outdoor mats and order online today.
At Recycled Mats, we talk a lot about making ‘ethical mats’ but we understand that might mean different things to different people. We consider our mats to be ethically made and produced because:
If you’d like to know more about who designs our mats or who benefits from our production methods, you can read more on our blog here.
Are Recycled Mats ethical mats? Yes! If you have any further questions about the ways in which we commission designs, work with recycled materials and produce our mats, cushions and tables – contact us today