GoodWeave (formerly Rugmark) was founded in 1994 by Kailash Satyarthi to eliminate the scourge of child labor in carpet manufacturing. In Nepal, India, and Afghanistan, the organization monitors factories and looms, certifies carpets made without child labor and rescues and educates “carpet kids.” In consumer countries, GoodWeave seeks to create market preference for certified rugs through use of the GoodWeave label. In 1999, Nina Smith brought her experience in fair trade and her passion for child rights to the campaign and launched GoodWeave USA to educate consumers and persuade them to seek out the label, so that the preference for certified rugs will work its way down the supply chain and eventually force manufacturers to stop exploiting children or lose their place in the market.
IMPACT AS OF JAN. 2013:
- At the organization’s debut in 1994, 1,000,000 children were exploited on South Asian looms. Today, that number is estimated to be 250,000. GoodWeave inspectors have directly rescued over 4,000 children, with thousands more deterred due to its rigorous supply chain monitoring and market enforcement mechanism.
- U.S. market share for GoodWeave certified rugs has eclipsed 5 percent, the ceiling for many social and environmental labels. The One in a Million consumer awareness campaign reached 75 million individuals in 2012 alone.
- Nearly 11,000 children have been provided with an education under GoodWeave sponsorship. These and other life-changing opportunities are in part funded by the domestic sale of certified rugs, which has so far generated over $1 million to reinvest in impoverished weaving communities.
- In 2012, a new GoodWeave standard was introduced, which expands upon its no-child-labor founding principle to add requirements on worker health, safety and environmental stewardship. The new standard, which tackles poverty more directly, brings with it plans to expand into additional countries and other textile products in the next few years.