GoodWeave’s mission is to end child labour in the rug industry and to replicate its market based approach in other sectors. What began as a grassroots effort in India is now a global organisation with locally-led and registered affiliates in India, Afghanistan, Nepal, North America, and Europe, all operating under the GoodWeave International umbrella. By partnering with importer and exporter companies, GoodWeave fundamentally alters the “business as usual”, to significantly protect the worker communities. Instead of a sole focus on main factories and primary production units, GoodWeave’s defining feature is its ability to reach even the micro-scale factories in the informal part of the supply chain, including home-based production. GoodWeave currently monitors nearly 2500 manufacturing units in the India, and more than 140 importer companies currently sell GoodWeave certified rugs, available through more than 4,000 stores, showrooms and online retailers in Europe, North America, Australia and other countries and online retailers.
GoodWeave believes that if enough people choose one product over another because it was made ethically, importers and exporters worldwide will pay heed to this demand. This in turn will create a “tipping point” in the market which will end industrial malpractices. GoodWeave uses inspection and monitoring, rescue and rehab of children, community based action for education, and development program for workers to achieve its goal. Designed to work through the marketplace, GoodWeave pulls the economic levers so that human rights abuses are no longer profitable. By building collaborative rather than combative relationships with industry members, GoodWeave accesses factories, loom sheds and homes, to identify child labour, and then use the licensing fees to support their remediation.
After 20 years of systemic impact in the carpet sector, GoodWeave is in an exciting scaling phase, bringing its model to apparel and home-textile sectors in India.
Licensing, Inspections, Monitoring and Certification
The GoodWeave Certification Program provides an assurance that the carpet manufacturers who voluntarily join as licensees and agree to its independent verification, adhere to the GoodWeave standard. Independent inspectors make frequent, unannounced visits to every loom operated by GoodWeave licensed producers. Regular monitoring ensures child-labour-free supply chains in India, Nepal and Afghanistan, while the licensed importers receive a GoodWeave label on the back of their rugs, assuring that their brand is not associated with child/bonded/trafficked labour. More than 13 million certified carpets have been sold in Europe, North America, Australia and other countries since GoodWeave’s inception.
Rehabilitation & Education
GoodWeave rehabilitates children from the carpet looms and other production facilities, and provides these children educational opportunities and other critical services. Thousands of rehabilitated and at-risk children have received education and other life-enhancing opportunities, such as bridge school, medical services and vocational training. GoodWeave’s Consumer Awareness Campaign, majorly undertaken in importer countries, brings global attention to the issue of Child labour. GoodWeave messages and stories are regularly featured in prestigious print and online publications throughout Europe and the North American subcontinent.
Child Friendly Community Project
The project perceives child labour being practiced in carpet manufacturing as an impediment to education. Envisioning that children belong in the classroom and not in a carpet loom, the Project aims to leverage India’s 2009 Right to Education (RTE) act to bring the benefit of schooling in locations where the act is not being enforced effectively. Despite emphasizing on the improved outcomes of learning, the project also aims at reinstating parents’ faith in education. This initiative is central to realizing education for the hardest-to-reach children, including those in remote rural settings where incidence of child labour is relatively higher. In terms of execution, As of September 2016, this community-based education system directly or indirectly supports around 5000 children as they learn basic skills of reading, writing and mathematics, thus creating a habit of attending regular classes. They also motivate the parents to enrol their kids in formal education.
Worker Welfare and SupportGoodWeave offers a number of programs to workers such as health services, eye care, solar-lamp distribution camps and improving worker access to government schemes. GoodWeave also works to ensure that loom owners are sensitive to the workers’ cause and are also willing to adopt the essential work place improvements to safeguard worker livelihood, security and health. Many of them have found business benefits such as worker retention and improved efficiency
The GoodWeave® label offers the best assurance that no child labor, bonded labor and forced labor was used in the production of a rug/garment and ensures that a percentage of the purchase price pays for remediation, rehabilitation and education of children and improving the working conditions for adult workers in the supply chains. GoodWeave’s certification standard has been developed and applied on the supply chain of GoodWeave licensee exporters in accordance with the ISEAL Alliance Code of good practice.
GoodWeave is a full member of the ISEAL Alliance, where only best-in-class certifications like Fair Trade and FSC are accepted. Membership with ISEAL ensures that the organization is independent of external pressure, remains transparent in its certification process, demonstrates proper quality control and confidentiality systems, and that all producers are treated equally.