While searching the internet for sources for Beni Ourain rugs, I came across The Anou, an entirely different kind of web shop. While other sources for Moroccan rugs — even fair trade ones — involve buying from middlemen, The Anou enables you to purchase rugs directly from the Moroccan artisans who make them.
Founder Dan Driscoll was inspired to create the site while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco, when he discovered that local woodcarvers remained poor even after selling to fair-trade organizations. He realized that in order to get the best return on their work, they needed to be able to sell directly to the customer. So he created The Anou, which allows artisans all over Morocco to find a worldwide market for their creations. The site is owned and operated by the artisans themselves, who photograph their own work and set their own prices. You can read a little more about how this works here.
What this means for you is that without going all the way to Morocco, you can get a rug that's authentic and unique, often for less than the price of a mass-produced rug. And by doing so you're supporting local artisans and helping them to build a better life.
1. Pile rug, 3ft 5in x 2ft 4in, $124
2. Pile Rug, 3ft 8in x 2ft 1in, $162
3. Grey and White Flatweave Rug, 4ft 9in x 2ft 11in, $223
4. Boucherouite Rug, 4ft 7in x 2ft 11in, $136
5. Boucherouite Rug, 5ft x 2ft 11in, $136
Although most of the rugs listed above are on the small side, you can also use the buttons on the product page, right under "add to cart", to get an estimate for a custom size. I priced an 8' x 10' version of the rug in #1 and got an estimate of $1104.
The rug at the top of the post is from the Common Thread collection, created by Anou artisans in collaboration with the British Council. These six rugs are all limited editions: you can find them for sale here. And you can find many more Moroccan rugs and handcrafts at The Anou, with new products being added all the time.