How should you evaluate the quality of a rug? Craftsmanship, design, and the integrity of the materials used are all important values. And when you consider how a product is made there’s a lot more than meets the eye, including lthe hidden costs at the expense of the environment — and to the people who make the products.
There is growing awareness about the social impact of our buying choices: Who provides the labor? Are the rugs generating fair employment, healthy working conditions, and viable opportunities?
Bora Bora jute seaming in Fall River, MA.
At Merida, we have a responsibility to those who, directly or indirectly, have a hand in producing our rugs; the design community; and to the places where our rugs find a home. We work closely with our global partners to ensure fair labor practices that not only provide jobs, but also promote people’s health and well-being.
To this end, Merida partners with GoodWeave, an organization that works with rug producers to certify that no child labor is used in rug production. We are proud to be GoodWeave’s first jute weaving partner, extending the organization’s scope and reach in Southwest Asia, where we source our jute fibers. All of our jute products are GoodWeave certified, and a portion of the price supports the education of children in rug-making villages in India, Nepal and Afghanistan.
GoodWeave’s founder, Kailash Satyarthi, won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize alongside Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education. As GoodWeave states, both “have staked their lives on the belief that children – regardless of gender, geography, faith, caste or societal circumstance – belong in classrooms.” Kailash began fighting against child slavery in the 1980’s and founded GoodWeave to continue this mission, to spread awareness around the issue, and to keep customers informed.
In addition to combatting the exploitation of children, GoodWeave also provides rehabilitation, care and educational programs for children they rescue. To date the organization has provided education to more than 11,000 at-risk children in the rug industry.
Learn more about how choosing a rug certified by GoodWeave can truly make a difference. It’s just one example of the far-reaching impact of socially and environmentally smart choices—and the importance of factoring people into the quality equation.