Design for Minimal Waste, Design from renewable, safe and recyclable, Design for Durability & materials, Design for Emotion & Design for Cyclability


Ceadogán Rugmakers

Circular Concept

For the Birds


Bannow Bay, Co.Wexford

Ceadogán Rugmakers

Ceadogán Rugmakers is a family run business which has been based in Wexford for over thirty years. They are committed to continuing in the tradition of hand tufting rugs from their workshops in Barrystown Wellingtonbridge Co. Wexford. They are a small business using traditional materials and methods in a rural setting, who are passionate about their skills and materials, and the rural setting from which they operate. They are driven to further root their process in its surroundings by endeavouring to create a market for locally sourced materials.

Ceadogán Rugmakers

For the Birds


Bannow Bay, Co.Wexford

The circular challenge:

Ceadogán Rugs were being made using a mixture of natural and synthetic elements. The synthetic elements were chosen for their technical properties. 

After assessing the current state, Ceadogán Rugs identified that in order to enable circular recovery of their rugs at their eventual end of life, it would be necessary to disassemble each rug, to separate the natural components from the synthetic components. In practice, this disassembly would prove almost impossible – therefore their current designs add value or circular potential at the end of life.

The circular design strategy:

  • Design for Physical Durability
  • Design for Emotional Durability
  • Design for Minimal Waste
  • Design for Cyclability
  • Design from Safe, Renewable or Recycled Materials

The NOW solution: What circular solution was prototyped and what are the companies short-term circular goals?

Ceadogán Rugs’ circular concept is entitled ‘For the birds’, and aims to create all-natural rugs that are made from ethical and sustainably sourced fibres. 

In order to increase the material recovery opportunities at end of life, Ceadogan decided to switch out all synthetics and use only natural fibres and glues.This switch not only enables cyclability at end of life, but also allows for better sourcing of ethical and sustainably produced materials.

Ceadogán Rugs used the prototyping opportunity to design and create a diptych of two wall hangings. They have used a variety of natural materials that were sampled, which they felt could lend themselves to their intentions and aspirations. The prototyping outcome was very positive, and triggered them to consider how they could scale this solution, in a way that also creates value locally.

Ceadogán Rugmakers

What were the main hurdles and lessons learnt from your prototyping phase?

One of the key hurdles that Ceadogán Rugs encountered whilst prototyping, related upholding quality and technical/performance of their rugs, as they made the switch from synthetic fibres to natural fibres. The physical properties of the various materials they sampled had to be tried and tested, and each had its limitations and strong points.

The availability of these materials on a scale that would meet their demand was also a problem.

The NEXT Solution: What are your bigger / longer-term circular goals for your brand?

The prototyping phase opened Ceadogán Rug’s eyes to the technical and impact potential of an all-natural material portfolio, and also, the limited supply of those same materials. 

These insights fed into the second phase of Ceadogán’s circular plan. 

Having tested and sampled various natural alternatives, they aim to identify a number of yarns that they themselves could in theory produce on the land surrounding their workshop and showrooms. Core to their intention is the regeneration of biodiversity, and in particular, the creation and support of the local habitat, which is part of a larger bird sanctuary. 

Their next step is to assess the viability of a farm-to-workshop micro mill, in which wool and other fibres could be produced and have a direct route to a finished product and market. In this respect, each time they used the yarns produced on their grounds, they would be contributing to their surroundings in a multitude of ways. In doing this they hope to create a self-sufficient regenerative process in which their environment, their business and their health and wellbeing will thrive.

Projected future impact: What is the expected positive impact - environmental, economic, social - from your longer term circular solution.

Ceadogán will eliminate the use of synthetic glues and fibres in their rugs. 

Furthermore, they will regenerate habitat and biodiversity in their surroundings, and hope to employ an extra team of 4-6 people as the project grows.

Finally, they would like to use their workshops to host educational gatherings and workshops on the topic of sustainability and circularity.

What questions or uncertainties are you facing right now in terms of your circular development?

  • How can we best assess the viability of a farm-to-workshop micro mill – cost, resources etc.

Call to Action:

To move from prototype to pilot, Ceadogán Rugs is looking for the following supports: 

  • Expertise on fibre production and the equipment and machines that would be needed.
  • Guidance on habitat and wildlife protection

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instagram: @ceadogan_rumakers