Hi there! Thanks for taking the time to get to know us a little better!
Showing photos from workshops has prompted a few questions about our attention to issues like labor practice when working with handmade goods from developing countries, and so we wanted to take a moment to address them. And thank you for asking! We are always happy to discuss rugs and how they're made.
Above and beyond anything else, please take away this: We sincerely care about the people and communities we work with. We care deeply about labor conditions and quality of life, and we work hard to select weaving workshops that share those sentiments. If we ever discover that a supplier is engaging in dubious practices, we end our relationship with them immediately. It's important to us as a business and as individuals.
For the most part, rug weaving takes place in developing countries in the world, and in the poorest parts of those countries to boot. Carpet making can at times be the only major industry in those towns and provides an important source of income for the people who live there.
It is a very involved art and requires many different skills from yarn makers to dyers to weavers to washers. Each of those skills requires years of experience and know-how, which tends to naturally filter out child-labor. Meanwhile, the industry globally has been putting in measures to make sure this is the case.
Many of the companies we work with have their own social responsibility programs in place that fund education and healthcare for the young and old alike. We visit all of our vendors directly and have first hand experience with both the management and the workforce. Many workshops even open their doors to refugees and migrant workers, giving them opportunities to send money back home or start new lives in a new place and become self-reliant.
It's also an industry that is not gender-biased, providing opportunities for both men and women. Because it is hand-craft based - not assembly line style - there are opportunities for people to work from home and to contribute to the well being of their families both economically and socially.