A multi-serviced design practice has created a sustainable Islamic prayer mat using 51 percent less materials than that of a traditional rug.
There are very few products that cannot be made more sustainable. At Springwise, we have seen products as diverse as toothbrushes and mascara made more sustainable through the use of environmentally friendly design or materials. Now, Bahraini designers from Shepherd Design Studio have applied this thinking to creating a more sustainable Islamic prayer rug.
Daily Muslim prayer involves kneeling, standing and prostration, in addition to verbal prayers. Many Muslims use a traditional prayer rug, which provides a clean place for daily prayers in any location. Given that so many people use prayer rugs, the designers reasoned that reducing the amount of material will also decrease the environmental impact of the rugs.
The new prayer mat is made up of two circles for the hands, a triangle for the forehead and a rectangular base for sitting and standing. These are connected with strips of material, and embellished with decorative patterns. Overall, the rug uses less than half the material of a traditional rug. The studio is also exploring ways to incorporate adjustable straps which would allow the user to customise the distance between the sections.
The studio is also exploring the use of sustainably-sourced materials in the rugs, including natural rubber, recycled swimwear and cork. According to the studio, “The overall form is also designed to guide the user to maintain correct posture during prayer, as well as encouraging them to reflect on the notion of consumption as a social and environmental responsibility.”