1) Find a rug that has the Good Weave label. This is an international organization that certifies rugs as not made by child labor. While this is certainly a step in the right direction, there are many more concerns than JUST child labor when it comes to the ethical manufacturing of goods. The organization has acknowledged this and is overhauling their standards, but for now I'd like to explore other options.
2) FLOR is a modular carpet tile system that is relatively inexpensive (7-20$ per tile, which covers 19.7 X 19.7 ''), recyclable, and sometimes made from renewed or recycled materials. The company is a little vague about where their products are made, though I believe at least some of their manufacturing occurs in a Georgia facility. I used to really like their designs, but lately things have gotten slightly horrible. What is this???
Still, their solid colors are lovely and functional. I've had FLOR before in a previous home, and I'll also say it was super easy to clean.
3) I could make a rug! I'm most intrigued by this one, but of course it's also the most work. The House of Smiths Blog has a nice tutorial on how to take an IKEA rug and make it Chevron print. Apartment Therapy also ran a piece last year about rope rugs and how you could make one yourself. There are two tutorials I found online that'd be helpful for rope rug weaving: This one from the Free People blog, and This one from Flax and Twine. I think I like the hula hoop method better, and I could then sew a bunch of the circles together to approximate something like this:
I'd tone down the pom-poms and neon colors, and maybe have fewer, larger circles in an asymmetrical arrangement, but this is certainly a starting point. It's also a great use for Alex's 405 old tee shirts that never seem to make it into the rag pile.