Hitting the road to visit our factories in India is always an exciting prospect. It’s an opportunity to meet one-on-one with the talented artisans who work so diligently to produce our hand-crafted designs. Being hosted by these facilities is a treat – we get a firsthand look into the operations and have the chance to chat with the employees as they bring our creative vision to life.
It is also an opportunity for us to connect with the community supported by the GoodWeave initiative.
More than 12 years ago we made the decision to support this program, and our co-founder, Walter Chapin, still serves on their standards committee. This helps us uphold one of our guiding principles at Company C – to create products using sustainably sourced materials and humane production methods.
We partnered with GoodWeave to support their initiatives to work with rug manufacturers in India to make sure our handmade designs were made without the use of child labor, produced in safe working conditions, and that the employees at the factories were paid fairly.
We’re passionate about making rugs – the right way.
Each year, we donate a portion of our rug sales to GoodWeave’s effort, which helps improve the lives of children in India through education. On this trip I had the pleasure of visiting one of their schools. I felt such joy in seeing the positive impact that this program has on the children. I was pleasantly surprised to see that even the youngest siblings are allowed to attend school with their older brothers and sisters. This helps the families while both parents work outside the home.
The children flourish at these schools. It was heartwarming to spend some time with them in between their class work. They also gave me the chance to be a fly on the wall while they sang and danced!
As savvy consumers express their concern about how and where our rugs are made, the GoodWeave label on the backs of our rugs offers piece of mind, letting customers know that their rugs were created without the use of child labor. If you’ve ever wondered why we support this organization, the numbers help tell the story.
While on this trip I learned that to date, more than 3,936 children have been freed from exploitation, 23,996 have been enrolled in schools, and 59,152 workers have been covered under the system in India. GoodWeave sponsors the education of all rescued child laborers, along with providing them rehabilitation and medical services.
Their Child Friendly Communities program promotes education in villages. GoodWeave facilitators build close relationships with the community, instill the value of education within the parents and teachers, and follow up with the children to make sure they’re attending school. Those who aren’t at the appropriate academic level for the public school are encouraged to attend a GoodWeave-run Motivation and Learning Centers, a place designed to accelerate learning and allow children to catch up to their peers. There are currently 38 such centers running in 51 Child Friendly Communities in India.
Without consumer support, these programs couldn’t happen.
This is why we continue to proudly support GoodWeave’s mission of healing and educating children. I’m already looking forward to my next visit!