Patchwork is a practice born from function and frugality that is almost as old as the hills. When things wear out, take the good parts and sew them together - done. It might have been more popular back in the day when people actually used things until they wore out. In the 70s it was very popular to patch your jeans, but that was probably an aesthetic driven practice. I was the youngest of three girls and had a lot of used denim in my elementary school wardrobe arsenal. And, guess what, if the hem came above my ankle, it was perfectly acceptable to sew a band of some funky fabric around the bottoms of those bells and rock. them. out. I also grew up in Woodstock, NY, so if you couldn't style up some patched bell bottom jeans there, I don't know where you could.
Anyway, you get the idea, patchwork has been around and even as a design aesthetic is nothing new. Overdyed vintage rugs and vintage patchworked rugs have become more popular in the last year or so. They are readily available from 1stdibs to eBay (these sellers have some very low prices, btw) to RugsUSA and come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes.
This chevron rug creates a more chic look than random patchwork. It is from Kush, a Portland, OR based company committed to eco and socially responsible practices. Multicolored is another option if you decide to forgo the overdyed look or you can forgo the patchwork and just get a vintage overdyed rug.
In full disclosure, I have absolutely no idea how eco-friendly the dye is. I do love the hot pink in the Sustainable Style Room though and this green above with the neutral furnishings. It just depends on your room and the vibe you are going for. More neutral tones also work in these spaces below.
There are plenty of options to meet your design needs.
Some of my favorite rugs are from Australia-based Loom... they even have rugs woven from yarn that has been unraveled from vintage kilims. They have such a beautiful selection...
You can check the Sustainable Style page to see all of the sources for the room in one place.
other sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 I wish I could give more credit to the original designers and photographers for some of these images, but, alas, internet images have become republished so many times it is often difficult to find the original source.