Three more US rug companies have joined the GoodWeave® certification program, committing to a child-labor-free supply chain. With the addition of these companies, GoodWeave USA now licenses 90 North American importers, conducting frequent, unannounced inspections of their looms to verify that they only employ weavers of legal working age. Each company’s licensing fees support GoodWeave’s work to rescue, rehabilitate and educate former child weavers and other at-risk children in the weaving communities of India, Nepal and Afghanistan. Every certified rug receives a uniquely numbered label traceable to the inspected loom.
“We’re proud of all the companies that have stepped forward to take a stand for children in weaving communities,” said Nina Smith, executive director of GoodWeave USA. “They make it easier for consumers to find rugs they can buy with a clear conscience, and bring us closer to our vision of a child-labor-free industry.”
Introducing GoodWeave’s newest industry partners:
- Caccese Collection LLC, in New York City, draws inspiration from the natural environment to design custom, hand knotted carpets incorporating natural fibers like bamboo, hemp, nettle and jute, in addition to wool and silk. Owner Tyla Caccese says the act of weaving imbues the rugs with a transformative power that sets them apart in a “mass produced” marketplace. “I don’t want to sell a product if I can’t stand behind it 100 percent,” says Caccese. “Being a member of GoodWeave helps me do that.”
- Doug and Gene Meyer Studio, in New York City, imports rugs designed by the prolific brothers Doug and Gene Meyer. Building on two decades designing everything from furniture to fashion, their latest venture with hand knotted rugs takes them “back to basics,” says Gene Meyer. The brothers’ Himalayan wool rugs are distinguished by their signature use of color, executed by the company’s expert weavers in Nepal with a “rare elegance and understanding,” says Doug Meyer.
- Kumari Rugs, in Bowling Green, Ky., creates hand knotted rugs that fuse elements of founder Raja Bhattacharya’s native Nepalese culture with that of his adopted home in the South. Made in Nepal from Kentucky-raised alpaca and Himalayan wool, Kumari’s rugs feature designs created in partnership with the Kentucky Arts Council. Bhattacharya stresses the imprint of the craftsperson on each rug. “Each weaver is like a painter,” he says, “and each rug has a personality.”
GoodWeave works to end child labor in the handmade rug industry by inspecting weaving looms and providing rehabilitation and education for former child weavers. Nearly eight million GoodWeave certified rugs have been sold worldwide; North American sales alone have contributed more than $1.4 million toward rescuing more than 3,600 children from debt bondage and other exploitation. In total, more than 10,600 rescued and at-risk children have received educational support from GoodWeave. Learn more at GoodWeave.org.