GoodWeave is the new name for the certification program and organization formerly known as RugMark. The GoodWeave label, publicly introduced in September 2009, is your best assurance that only adult artisans—not children—made your beautiful rug.
What does the GoodWeave label replace?
The GoodWeave label replaces the RugMark label on all rugs certified as of August 2009.
Is the RugMark label still valid?
Rugs shipped before August 2009 will bear the RugMark label. They are still for sale from some retailers and showrooms, and that certification remains valid. All of the RugMark labels are expected to be phased out by 2011, when only the GoodWeave label will appear in the marketplace.
Is Nepal RugMark Foundation also changing its name?
As of Fall 2011 Nepal RugMark Foundation have also changed its names to reflect the new certification name – Nepal GoodWeave Foundation. It will, however, continue to function as always, overseeing the rug certification program and fulfilling the mission of eliminating child labor and improving conditions in the carpet industry.
Has the organization's mission changed?
No. The move to GoodWeave is part of a long-term organizational strategy to strengthen our standards and encourage greater social and environmental responsibility in all facets of the carpet industry.
The new label provides a strong platform for future expansion of GoodWeave’s programs and mission, but the core purpose remains the elimination of child labor and providing opportunities for children and families affected by illegal child labor.
How is the GoodWeave label different from the RugMark label?
The GoodWeave label looks different, with a new name and an updated logo and typeface. Both labels assure the buyer that the rug was made by adult artisans, not child labor, through inspection of looms and legally binding contracts with rug-making facilities.
GoodWeave introduced its new label in fall 2009 as a new member of the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labeling Alliance (ISEAL). ISEAL offers guidance on good practices for progressive organizations involved in standard-setting for social change. GoodWeave International is strengthening its standards and systems in compliance with ISEAL guidelines. See additional information in the section below regarding ISEAL.
Why was the label changed?
The GoodWeave label represents an important step in the organization’s evolution. GoodWeave is responding to increasing awareness of social and economic issues in textiles with a more sophisticated standards program that will also allow the organization to continue its growth. While child labor is the most pressing and immediate issue to be addressed in the carpet industry, broader ethical, labor and environmental issues also require responsible responses. The GoodWeave label will also enable us to incorporate other textile products into one certification program in the future.
Finally, the new label and logo has a contemporary new look and a name that reflects GoodWeave’s mission in the world of ethically produced textiles.
How does the GoodWeave label differ from fair trade or other labels?
GoodWeave offers the only independent, child-labor-free product certification in the handmade carpet industry. While other rug labeling programs make important contributions to weaving communities, GoodWeave is the only organization that conducts ongoing, unannounced inspections of the looms on which the rugs it certifies are made. GoodWeave believes that ongoing, random surprise inspections are a necessary enforcement mechanism to ensure that no children are forced to work – a component that is lacking in many certification systems. Furthermore, while certification programs like fair trade ban child labor in their standards, the GoodWeave program is the only one offering remediation in the form of rescue, rehabilitation and education for any child being exploited on a loom. GoodWeave works holistically to address child labor through a variety of community initiatives.
Like GoodWeave, the fair trade movement recognizes that child labor cannot be isolated from other issues such as adult working or environmental conditions. In this vein, GoodWeave is finalizing its new seven-principle standard that incorporates the key International Labor Organization conventions addressing adult wages, working conditions, forced and bonded labor and environmental.
About GoodWeave and ISEAL
What is ISEAL?
GoodWeave International is an Associate Member of the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labeling Alliance (ISEAL), founded in 2001 to define and codify good practices in standard-setting for progressive change. ISEAL defines its associate members as “organizations that are in the process of meeting requirements for good practice in either their international standard-setting or international accreditation practices and that have committed to the ISEAL Alliance Code of Ethics.”
How is GoodWeave working with ISEAL to create standards for the GoodWeave label?
ISEAL provides guidance and models for meaningful, rigorous, transparent standards that are developed using input from all stakeholders and have effective complaint mechanisms, among other qualities. GoodWeave’s standards are in process for full compliance with the ISEAL framework.
What does it mean to say you’re developing better standards? Were the existing standards inadequate? When will the new standards be final?
GoodWeave began in 1995 as a small organization serving critical and immediate needs in the carpet industry. Since then, GoodWeave has helped thousands of children and families, but there’s much more work to do. Simultaneously, consumers have become more sensitive to marketplace claims and want assurances that a label means what it says. To meet these expectations and to continue to grow and serve more children, families and communities, GoodWeave is in the process of updating and strengthening its standards to meet contemporary best practices.
Under the guidance of ISEAL, GoodWeave aims to strengthen its standards to meet the toughest tests of clarity, rigor and transparency; to be attentive to the needs of all stakeholders; to encourage rather than create barriers to change; and to establish effective complaint mechanisms that will speedily rectify any failures in oversight. Standards in development are developed through a comprehensive multi-stakeholder consultation process.
What is the loom inspection process?
To become licensed with GoodWeave, rug-making facilities agree to be monitored regularly and inspected at random by GoodWeave-authorized inspectors. Looms are registered with the monitoring and inspections office, and each finished rug includes a number on the GoodWeave label allowing end purchasers to track and verify its origin.
Do looms and importers pay a fee to use the GoodWeave label?
Manufacturers and importers pay associated licensing fees that fund GoodWeave. Retailer and showroom lead sponsors also pay fees for participation in GoodWeave in the countries where rugs are sold. Fees support GoodWeave’s education programs and other community initiatives for former child weavers and their families, the inspection and certification process and other operational costs, including the GoodWeave consumer education campaign.
About Nepal GoodWeave Foundation
What is GoodWeave’s mission?
The mission of GoodWeave is to end illegal child labor in the carpet industry and to offer educational opportunities to children.
What does GoodWeave do?
GoodWeave rescues children directly from the looms and strives to deter the illegal employment and exploitation of other children. GoodWeave also inspects and certifies carpet-weaving facilities and authorizes use of its trademarked label on rugs made at looms meeting GoodWeave standards. The certification program helps fund educational opportunities for children as well as support and resources for families and weaving communities.
Who founded GoodWeave, and when?
GoodWeave (formerly known as RugMark) was founded by Kailash Satyarthi, then Chairman of the South Asian Coalition on Child Servitude. After many years of rescuing Indian children from bonded labor in the carpet industry, only to see them replaced by others, Satyarthi wanted to create a market incentive for manufacturers to stop exploiting children on an industry-wide basis.
GoodWeave was formally established in 1995 by a coalition of nongovernmental organizations, businesses, government entities and multilateral groups like UNICEF.
What are some of GoodWeave’s successes?
Through a combination of forces including GoodWeave’s efforts, illegal child labor in the carpet industry has dropped by an estimated 75 percent since the organization was founded in 1995. GoodWeave has directly rescued several thousand children and deterred the employment of many thousands more. It has helped to build awareness by shining a spotlight on child labor, the hidden tragedy of the carpet industry. Though there is much more work to be done, GoodWeave’s efforts are making it more difficult for looms to profit by selling luxury goods made by exploited children.
Once children are freed from the looms, GoodWeave makes every effort to reunite them with their families. GoodWeave runs its own education and rehabilitation facilities, and it partners with other organizations to support children’s education. Other initiatives help create strong, financially independent communities by providing health clinics, adult literacy programs and worker health and training seminars.
Where does GoodWeave
India, USA and initiatives in the United States (also serving Canada), England (also serving Ireland and Australia) and Germany.
How can I support GoodWeave?
Exporters are invited to sell GoodWeave certified rugs and join GoodWeave as members and lead sponsors.
Any donation amount is welcome and appreciated and helps to give more opportunities to children in Nepal.
About Purchasing a Certified GoodWeave Rug
How can I be sure my rug wasn’t made with child labor?
Ask and look for the certified and numbered GoodWeave label on the back of the rug. It’s your best assurance that no children were exploited in the production process. Until 2011, you may still see the former RugMark label on imported rugs; this label is equivalent to the new GoodWeave label.
Will I pay more for a GoodWeave certified rug?
We estimate that the cost to the consumer is typically no more than half a percent of the total retail price. On a $2,000 rug, that comes to about $10. Certified GoodWeave rugs are available in many price ranges to fit your budget.
Is there a difference in quality in a GoodWeave certified rug?
Rugs that are made with experienced, adult hands are of a higher quality and more beautifully woven, since fine detail work takes years of practice and the patience of an adult weaver.
About Child Labor
What is child labor?
The International Labour Organization (ILO) recognizes child labor as work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally harmful to children. Instead of going to school and experiencing childhood, 215 million children around the world are involved in this type of work.1
Of those an estimated 250,000 children in South Asia are spending long days at the looms, working in poor conditions. In addition to interfering with child development and education, child labor also drives down adult wages, keeping communities trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty.
Of the total number of children working, 126 million are engaged in the worst forms of child labor, defined in ILO Convention 182 as “work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children,” such as bonded labor, extremely hazardous work and other work that separates children from their families.
What is the economic impact of child labor?
Ending illegal child labor would help the global economy. The ILO’s 2003 Investing in Every Child report shows that it would cost $760 billion over a 20-year period to end child labor. The estimated benefit in terms of better education and health is more than six times that—over $5 trillion in economies where child laborers are found.2
Isn’t it true that children in poor countries must work to feed themselves and their families?
Child weavers often work as bonded laborers and never see a penny for their work. Those who are paid make far less than adult weavers, and adult weavers make less in environments where child labor is used because child labor drives down wages. 1,3
Aren’t children allowed to work in some countries?
Child labor is illegal in India and Nepal, where GoodWeave certification efforts are based.
Some child weavers work at home, side by side with other family members. Aren't they better off than child weavers in factories?
Sometimes children working at home are worse off. It’s easier for inspectors to enforce fair labor standards in a factory setting than in the privacy of a home. Anything can be hidden behind closed doors. It is legal for children to work in the home, as long as they attend school full-time and are not working against their will.
Isn’t carpet weaving less dangerous than working with machinery or chemicals as some children do?
The health of child carpet weavers is very poor. Many develop respiratory illnesses, spinal deformities, impaired vision and cuts and wounds from sharp tools. Many sleep on the floor next to the carpet looms and are fed only one meal a day. This leads to malnutrition and stunted mental and physical development. 3, 4, 5
If children are forced to leave carpet weaving, won’t they turn to crime or prostitution?
We ensure that rescued children have an opportunity to go to school. When they’re old enough, children rehabilitated by GoodWeave have the opportunity to learn a trade if they’d like to.
In many countries, carpet weaving is an ancient and honored craft. Why deny children this form of cultural and intellectual expression?
Child laborers in the handmade rug industry typically aren't learning the craft of carpet weaving. They are usually given the most mundane, repetitious tasks because they’re too young to execute complex designs.
How can selling GoodWeave certified rugs improve my business?
Importing, selling or specifying GoodWeave rugs is an excellent way to distinguish your business and capitalize on the growing market of consumers who are interested in buying socially responsible products. You'll also have the satisfaction of knowing you're helping end illegal child labor.
How does the GoodWeave certification process work?
GoodWeave recruits carpet producers and importers to make and sell carpets without the use of illegal child labor. By agreeing to adhere to GoodWeave's strict no-child-labor guidelines, permitting random inspections of carpet looms and paying associated license fees, producers receive the right to put the GoodWeave label on their carpets. The label provides the best possible assurance that children were not employed in the making of a rug. It also verifies that a portion of the carpet price is contributed to the rehabilitation and education of former child weavers. Who carries GoodWeave certified rugs?
GoodWeave rugs are available at approximately 1,000 showroom and retail locations throughout North America and through several online stores. To search our showroom and retail locations by name or zip code, click here.
What’s the difference between GoodWeave and other labeling initiatives?
There are other “child-labor-free” labels on some rugs. GoodWeave is the only independent monitoring and inspection program working in India and Nepal. The other labels might represent organizations running social programs, but these programs are philanthropic in scope, do not include random inspections and are administered by the industry itself rather than by an independent nonprofit. Rug exporters simply pay a fee to these organizations to receive “no child labor” labels without actual inspections in their factories/loom sheds. These labels do not provide the same level of assurance as the GoodWeave label.
In addition, GoodWeave represents everyone involved in the South Asian carpet industry: manufacturers, importers, exporters, retailers and consumers. GoodWeave is funded by a variety of sources and is free from influence by any particular industry segment or individual government. Other labeling initiatives tend to represent single interest groups that see things from their own perspective and have their own agenda. GoodWeave has many voices but only one agenda: moving all South Asian child carpet weavers from looms to schools.
What is the exporters financial relationship with GoodWeave?
GoodWeave is administered by Nepal GoodWeave Foundation. By signing a License Agreement, importers agree to pay Nepal GoodWeave Foundation 0.25 percent royalty on the net import value (FOB price) of carpet shipments on a quarterly basis. Nepal GoodWeave Foundation spent this amount on the education and rehabilitation of former child laborers.
How do I become a GoodWeave licensed exporter?
Importers are the backbone of the GoodWeave program. Out of the small royalty fee on carpets paid by licensed exporters and importers are used to educate and train former child weavers. The balance of the fees helps to build consumer awareness about the importance of purchasing certified rugs.
How will being a GoodWeave Lead Sponsor support my sales?
As a GoodWeave Lead Sponsor, you can help end child labor in the carpet industry and promote your reputation for social responsibility. You will receive point-of-sale materials and publicity support with consumer and trade media..