RugMark USA, the nonprofit working to end child labor in the carpet industry, is publishing the GoodWeave Rug Sourcebook, a hands-on tool for designers looking to source ethically produced, handmade rugs. The Sourcebook will list more than 70 North American rug companies whose products carry the GoodWeave label, independently certifying that their rugs are child-labor-free.
Since RugMark USA began in 1995, the number of children trapped in exploitative carpet-making work has dropped from 1 million to 250,000. Educational programs funded by certified rug sales and donations provide former child laborers and at-risk children with rehabilitation, daycare, formal schooling, vocational training, and other essential services.
“Even though many of us don't realize it, we as designers have a choice to make every time we recommend a rug to a client: will we fight child labor or will we support it?” says Betty Wasserman, award-winning New York City-based interior designer and RugMark USA board member. “I've been a designer for nearly 15 years, and I'm still amazed at how easy, and yet so incredibly powerful, that choice is."
“Designers are so essential to advancing GoodWeave’s work. By making their clients aware of this issue and advising them on the importance of purchasing child-labor free rugs, they can have a significant impact on the lives of children who are being exploited,” adds Nina Smith, executive director of RugMark USA.
Interior designers can receive free copies of the GoodWeave Rug Sourcebook by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit www.goodweave.org.