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Merida Meridian Offers Nat'l Geographic Natural Fiber Rugs

Sustainable natural fiber floor covering company Merida Meridian is launching a line of vegetable fiber rugs and bindings developed especially for the National Geographic Home collection.

This line represents the first time in Merida Meridian's 31-year history that the company has partnered via licensing. The manufacturer points out that like itself, the National Geographic is an environmentally minded entity. "I am thrilled and honored for Merida to be a selected partner with a world renowned organization that shares our values of cultural reflection and sustainability," said Catherine Connolly, ceo.

The 2009 National Geographic Home collection features furniture and home accessories inspired by the east African nation Tanzania. Merida's floor coverings for this year's program "evoke the romance and wonder" of this coastal country, Merida Meridian said, with the use of natural fibers, earthy tones and culturally relevant patterns. Fibers in the collection include sisal, jute and abaca, with new leather and fabric bindings. The rugs are divided into five categories, which were inspired by the varied aspects of Tanzanian culture. They are: Safari, Tribal, Animal, Landscape, and Campaign Heritage.

Some of the sisal rugs in the collection are produced in partnership with a cooperative sisal farming community in Brazil. This co-op works to help reverse the trend of falling sisal production in the region, increase the fiber's market value, and provides economic, social and educational opportunities for residents of the community. To help tell the story at retail, merchandising and display materials for Merida's product will contain icons noting the handcrafted nature of certain products and the benefits to local economies and the environment.

Merida Meridian's new National Geographic-branded rugs and bindings will be on display with the rest of the licensed program's home assortment at the upcoming High Point Market, April 25–30 in space IHFC C800.

All of National Geographic's net proceeds from the home furnishings and accessories collection support the World Cultures Fund, which aids the work of archeologists, cultural anthropologists, and artists around the globe.

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