Snug as a bug in a Hug Rug

Snug as a bug in a Hug Rug

It's a fantastic eco story, a made in Britain story, a 'how have I lived without one?' story. Let's hear it for Hug Rug!

By Abby Trow
We all love a Hug Rug

Hug Rugs are barrier mats that have style, eco friendliness, durability and versatility. Drench them in water, cover them with mud, spill anything and everything on them and they will look like new after a 30 degree wash. Made in Huddersfield from recycled cotton T shirt yarn, they're fully recyclable too. Pictured above: Highland Cattle from the Country collection. Last year 130,000 Hug Rugs were sold worldwide.

Click here to see a short Hug Rug video

We've all bought things that fairly quickly get consigned to the back of a cupboard because it's quickly apparent they don't make life any better. Toasted sandwich makers and window vacuum cleaners spring to mind. That's definitely not the case with a Hug Rug. Once you've got one, you want two. And then three. And one for the kitchen, the bathroom, the garden shed and hell, they're great on the decking too. Before you know it you've become a collector. 

Hug Rugs are highly effective barrier mats that help keep your home clean. They come in myriad appealing designs, they're super soft, they absorb three times their weight in water, the microfibres trap 95 per cent of mud and dirt that passes over them, they're machine washable and they come with a five-year guarantee.

And if eco friendliness is top of your list of attributes for the homewares you buy, then you need to know about Hug Rugs. Because these fully recyclable mats are made at the Hug Rug factory near Huddersfield from recycled cotton T-shirt yarn (the yarn is produced in Italy), with a recycled PET plastic membrane and a real rubber backing which stops them slip sliding all over the place. Things don't get more circular economy.

'Hug Rugs are fun, useful and they brighten up your home. And they are super eco friendly,' Chris Green.

Hug Rugs absorb 3x their weight in water
Deer runner. Use by the fire ..your dog will love you for it...
They come in plain colours too - such as terracotta
If you want a wood floor in the kitchen, a Hug Rug will catch grease and spills from the stove
Squirrel from the popular Country collection

Design + eco

'We launched Hug Rug 10 years ago as we wanted to make a useful product from recycled materials,' says Hug Rug's Chris Green. 'Our starting point was to have a eco friendly and fully recyclable mat. And we're proud that in 2018 our factory is zero rated for landfill. Yes that means we don't send any waste to landfill sites.'

And while it's invariably the look of things that makes us choose one product over another, Hug Rug's eco story is winning it loyal customers. 'I think environmental issues are becoming really important to people and if you have the choice of a product that's made in your country from reycled materials, well that's very persuasive,' says Green.

Wooden floors - don't fear to tread

A point London customer Jill Roberts Caven makes is that Hug Rugs make wooden floors - and the same could apply to more porous stones such as limestone and marble - viable in areas/rooms you might think weren't suitable. 'For example, we share an entrance hall with the flat on the ground floor and it was covered with horrible plastic tiles. We finally decided to put down some engineered wood boards and they've really transformed the look of what was a depressing space. And we don't have to worry about keeping the wood clean and dry because we've put a rectangular mat right by the door, so wet/muddy shoes can be wiped immediately and then we have a runner down the centre, so you don't actually need to walk on the wood but you see it and enjoy the look.'

The same goes for kitchens where the advice is generally to have ceramic tiles or resilient flooring because of cooking and water spills. But put a pretty barrier mat in front of the cooker and in the sink area and they'll deal with grease and water.

Design choice

Green says a big part of Hug Rug's appeal is the sheer breadth of designs, from plains and stripes to botanicals, animals and birds, all available in different colourways. 'So the odds are everyone will find a design that suits their home. And we have our designer Sophie Brabbins to thank for our great portfolio of designs.'

Brabbins' designs are digitially-printed onto the tufted cotton using vegetable-based dyes which give Hug Rugs their soft muted colours. 'We don't do garish,' says Green, who adds that Brabbins' Country Collection featuring beautifully drawn creatures such as pheasants, highland cattles, ducks and dogs is its most popular. 'We can certainly vouch that Brits love animals.'

Zigzags for a bright modern look
Pheasant - from the best selling Country Collection.
Charcoal - outdoor mat
Hug Rug's bamboo bath mats are super soft and absorbent

Phoenox Textiles

Hug Rug is part of Phoenox Textiles, which was founded in 1954 in Huddersfield as a high volume wall-to-wall carpet manufacturer. Carpet making gave way to manufacturing doormats, which in turn led to the launch of Hug Rugs in 2008, while the other brand in the business is Rug Guru, which imports from India high-end wool and viscose rugs. These are sold through department stores and direct to customers. Also imported from India are bamboo fibre bathmats. Phoenox Textiles is run by brothers Charles and Adrian Mosley and Adrian's wife Liz. Phoenox Textiles employs more than 100 people.

Phoenox Textiles has ISO 14001 certification for environmental management.

The company has recently invested in a water filtration plant so water is re-used and managed in a closed loop system.

Last year 130,000 Hug Rugs were sold. The main export markets are the US, France and Spain.

Buy online or find Hug Rugs are major garden centres include Dobbie's, Wyevale and Blue Diamond.

Hug Rug rectangular mats cost £39.99 and runners £69.99