GoodWeave® is a nongovernmental organization that aims to stop child labor in the carpet industry and to replicate its market-based approach in other sectors. GoodWeave works through its certification program to end child labor in the carpet industry and to offer educational opportunities to children in weaving communities. GoodWeave was founded on a simple premise: If enough people demand certified child-labor-free rugs, manufacturers will employ only skilled, adult artisans, and children will no longer be exploited in the carpet industry.
Nearly 250,000 children are forced to work in the South Asian carpet industry, robbed of opportunities for education and their childhood.
GoodWeave certifies rugs produced without child labor, and educates sellers and consumers to influence manufacturers to stop exploiting children.
Executive Director Nina Smith (left) and Nobel prize winner and founder Kailash Satyarthi share a vision for eliminating child labor from the manufacture of rugs for the export market.
More than 11 million carpets have been certified child labor free.
Child labor is eliminated from the manufacturing of rugs for the export market.
Grow Wholesaler and Consumer Preference for Certified Products
GoodWeave works to create both consumer demand and retailer commitments to source only certified rugs.
Nina Smith brought her experience in the fair trade movement and a passion for children to the task of launching the organization that became GoodWeave in 1999. At that time it was known as Rugmark USA as the United States affiliate of Rugmark International, established in India by Kailash Satyarthi to eliminate the scourge of child labor in carpet manufacturing. In Nepal, India, and Afghanistan, GoodWeave 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 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. The theory of change is straightforward: If enough people refuse to buy carpets made by exploited children, then no one will be able to sell them. This requires coordinated strategies to influence the behavior of consumers, sellers, importers, and producers. At the time of the Award, certified rugs represented about five percent of the imported carpet market, and GoodWeave estimated that each 1 percent increase translated to 750 children rescued from the workforce, 1,000 prevented from entering, and 2,200 jobs being given to adults rather than children.