An Ethical Home: Y’abal Fair Trade Rug Review

Yabal fair trade rug

Reviewing a Yabal Fair Trade Rug

When you live in a basement apartment, it can be difficult to achieve that glowy, all white look so popular these days. I love a good sunshine-y room myself, but I’m quite fond of our little cave, full of quirks like wood paneling and multi-height ceilings. Plus, our bedroom is in the old garage, which means we have an exposed brick wall on one side and a huge window where the garage door used to be. Not bad at all.

Still, I rarely shoot indoors because outdoor light is much more flattering, but Y’abal’s handmade wool rug demanded a glimpse into its (and, let’s be honest, my) natural habitat.

My new Black and White Wool Rug, which was graciously gifted to me by Y’abal, is simple at first glance, but its origin story is pretty incredible. All of Y’abal’s rugs and blankets are made by a single family who:

…shears the sheep, cards the wool by hand, spins the wool into yarn with a hand-crank wood wheel, makes their own dyes with plants from their land, weaves the designs on the foot-loom, and then in the case of the blankets, hand brushes each blanket with homemade combs. 

It must be incredibly satisfying to see something this labor intensive through from start to finish, and the in-house processing means that the end product is about as perfect as it can be. The rug is soft yet sturdy, with a simple look that won’t go out of style. Allison, my contact at Y’abal, told me that this particular rug is comprised only of natural sheep’s-wool colors, so lots of varieties of sheep shared their wool to create a black, white, and gray striped design.

I like having a soft rug by the bed because it provides a nice tactile and visual touch to the room. It’s perfect for bare feet.

Yabal fair trade rug

This rug is the 32×54″ version, which costs $74.00. It’s a really good price, especially for a fairly made rug, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone in the market for a new rug. If you have wood floors, you’ll likely need to get a grippy pad so it won’t slip around, but it stays put on carpet without any issues.

Y’abal shares the work of Guatemalan artisans from various indigenous cultures and traditions, offering fair wages, sustainable infrastructure development, and social programs as part of their business model. They sell a variety of accessories and home goods, including bags, scarves, and even a yoga mat carrier.

Yabal fair trade rug

Shop Y’abal here.

See this rug in my new apartment here.

Leah Wise

Leah Wise is the founder of StyleWise Blog. She has been writing, speaking, and consulting on sustainable fashion, the fair trade and secondhand supply chain, and digital marketing for over ten years. An Episcopal priest, Leah holds a B.A. in Religion from Florida State University and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. When not working, you can find her looking for treasures at the thrift store.

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