October 30, 2023 2 min read
NO! Here's how my commitment to end child labor in India's carpet industry began...
It was 1990. Some estimated that there were 1,000,000 Indian kids weaving rugs. I returned from my first solo buying trip to India, my Father was waiting at the airport. We had no cell phones. I was 21 and had been away for over 2 weeks.
Truth be told, one of the 12 suppliers told that I should consult my Father before making my buying decisions, and that wasn’t going to work. The rest of them told me that there is nothing we can do about child labor in the production of our rugs. Naïve as I was, I didn’t accept it. The one remaining supplier? My partner in Organic Weave. Together we were founding members of RugMark (now GoodWeave), an internationally-recognized NGO dedicated to eradicating child labor in global supply chains.
Our rugs proudly carry the GoodWeave label, assuring that they are ethically made, without child labor. It amazes me that some North American companies import rugs from India without child-labor-free certification. It costs so very little for this assurance, it demands accountability of the exporter, the funds help to provide medical services and educational opportunities to weaving families, and it’s THE RIGHT THING TO DO.
My other mandate, tied to ending child labor, was to employ as many women as possible. I wanted to focus on creating sustainable income for women. After all, would a mother send her child to work if she had an economic alternative?
Today, there are still an estimated 160 million children forced to work. You can make a difference by just purchasing the right products.
Please: think before you buy. Ask yourself: is the product I’m buying made ethically?
Comments will be approved before showing up.