When starting her company in 2001, two of Rosemary’s primary directives were to provide sustainable product to her clients as well as support to textile artisans in indigenous cultures, such as Peru, Brazil and Nepal. Today, this commitment to craft and craftspeople remains central to her firm’s mission.
The majority of Rosemary Hallgarten products are hand-made by local craftspeople, who carry out the dyeing, knotting, weaving and embroidery in their own homes. It is common that families and friends, even husbands and wives, work together when weaving a rug. This eases stress on the artists’ family by allowing them to work in their own environment and choose their own schedule. In keeping with Rosemary’s involvement in GoodWeave, no child labor is used in the production of any of Rosemary’s products.
A second-generation craftsperson herself, Rosemary recognizes the importance of family legacy. Investing in the lineage of second and third generation native artisans imbues the finished product with a strong sense of “place”, and simultaneously contributes economically to their communities. Valuable techniques are passed from generation to generation as these special processes are mastered. By providing a market for a unique and local skill, Rosemary also helps to sustain widespread appreciation for the cultures of Peru, Nepal and Brazil.
The alpaca population, whose fleece is used to make Rosemary’s rugs, pillows and throws, is free roaming and their gentle grazing helps prevent soil erosion. They are herded in the evenings by local shepherds into stone enclosures. The animals are shorn just once a year, in the summer, the time most appropriate for them to shed their heavy hair.
The Himalayan sheep, which graze at altitudes of over 17,000 feet, grow one of the most luxurious wools in the world. Known for its natural abundance of lanolin and resiliently long staple, the wool needs little treatment when hand carded and knotted into a rug.
TIBETAN CACTUS, NETTLE AND HEMP
Rosemary’s Botanical Collection is comprised of all natural fibers such as cactus, nettle and hemp, processed entirely by hand in the villages of Nepal. The fibers are for the most part naturally colored and sustainably harvested in the high mountain plains of Kathmandu.
BRAZILIAN COTTON, WOOL, RUSTIC SILK, BANANA, LEATHER, JUTE AND SISAL
Brazil boasts an immense selection of locally grown plants and fibers. No Amazon forests or other indigenous forests or wetlands were destroyed in harvesting any of the materials used in Rosemary’s rugs.