I was recently tending my garden at home, and a thought occurred to me. Above ground we see blossoms, vegetables and the literal fruits of our labor. But hidden below the surface are the bulbs and a system of roots, which are constantly at work to produce the harvest we depend on.
The same can be said for today’s supply chains, which is what I think about most when I’m not in my garden. Ultimately, supply chains can be divided by what we see and what we don’t, by the formal and informal workforce, by the factory employee and the outsourced homeworker.
In 2015, on the verge of a tipping point in the carpet sector, GoodWeave gathered leading child rights experts and advocates from NGO, philanthropy, business and academia. We asked: What is our added value? Where else are we needed? How should we scale?
What we heard over and over is that GoodWeave is the only organization that knows how to uncover the dark, hidden layers of manufacturing. Almost all audit programs stop at the factory gate; we dig deeper.
In 2016, we took this stakeholder feedback and our 20 years of learning, and planted seeds in five new sectors: apparel, fashion jewelry, home textiles, tea, and bricks. In this report, I invite you to see how we’re growing, as told by those all along the supply chain.
Nina Smith, Chief Executive Officer
Goods you purchase come to you through a supply chain – people, organizations, and processes linked to make and deliver products. Sometimes, behind the retail and online stores and even the factories we think we know, there’s a complex web of children and adults around the globe who are exploited for their labor. GoodWeave shines a light on those at the hidden end of the supply chain and protects them.
Over two decades, GoodWeave has tested, fine-tuned and scaled a unique approach to ending child labor. Market forces drive our work to clean up supply chains, rescue and educate children, and improve working conditions for adults. Our system covers every step from when a product is made to when it is sold, from the student buying her first rug at a Target store in Minneapolis to the subcontracted homeworker in an artisan village in India.
“GoodWeave has developed the capacity, the understanding and the experience to address supply chains in their totality.”
– Siddharth Kara, Director of the Program on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery, at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Our system combines the power of consumers and businesses to ignite the engine of social change. In partnership with brands, we’re creating a market for goods made without child labor by preventing and rescuing children from lives of bondage, and by distinguishing select products with the GoodWeave label. This relationship with business provides the influence needed to permanently change behavior and practices, making “no child labor” a market requirement for their producers, along with design, price and other features.
Last winter, Hannah Viederman was getting ready to move from the Macalester College dorms into her first off-campus home in Saint Paul, Minnesota. With the help of her parents, she planned a busy weekend to furnish her new home, including a visit to the city’s “super Target” retailer.
Of all the items she purchased, one stands out. “It felt so worth it to buy something that really matters.” While at Target, her father spotted a rug with the GoodWeave label and called her over. Having spent most of his career at the intersection of business and human rights, he knew what the label represented. Her mother, a brand strategist for social change organizations, was moved as well: “We spent this whole weekend picking up furniture from Craigslist ads in the cold, cold winter. It was a shining, bright spot.”
A theatre major and music minor, Hannah plans to move to New York after graduation to start the audition process. “When I move, it certainly will come with me.”
Even the most well-intentioned brands find exploitation in their supply chains. And now, in this era of fast fashion – with hurried timelines for new styles to hit shelves – the labor rights situation is getting worse.
GoodWeave establishes clear and rigorous standards, and we verify compliance by regularly mapping and inspecting factories, worksites and facilities all the way down to cottage industry and individual homes. These inspections—which are random, unannounced, and frequent—lead us to exploited children and serve as a powerful deterrent to bad labor practices.
In 2016, GoodWeave broke ground on a two-year pilot in northern India to tackle child and forced labor in informal apparel supply chains, especially where readymade garments and fashion jewelry are produced.
The work is now active in four villages that serve as a hub for home-based work: Tilbegumpur, Kanwara, Jaee and Sali.
“The GoodWeave model excites us because at this point there is nothing like it in the apparel sector. GoodWeave has been able to achieve complete transparency in the carpet supply chain and we want to test whether we can replicate that success in the apparel sector.”
– Anindit Roy Chowdhury
C&A Foundation Programme Manager for Gender Justice and Human Rights
Born in a semi-urban farming area 350 miles east of Kathmandu, Jyoti Raj works as an inspector for Nepal GoodWeave Foundation. He lives with his extended family, all of whom depend on him. Each workday, he inspects rug production sites, talking to owners and workers and raising awareness about the rights of children. He also checks in on how the rescued children are doing at GoodWeave’s community-based rehabilitation programs.
“When I find a needy child working, I invite them to come with me; sometimes it takes time until they trust me. Also, the guardians of the child often need educating about the importance of the child’s rehabilitation and education. When finally they come with me, I feel very satisfied.”
Jyoti wishes to dedicate his life to those rural people who are illiterate, unemployed, and vulnerable, adding that “I believe it is important to work and live for others, not just ourselves.”
When asked what he might say to a person looking at GoodWeave certified rugs, he states plainly, “my message to anyone buying a rug is please think about what you buy, as you could change the fate of these children.”
Learn more about GoodWeave’s child labor remediation work here.
GoodWeave’s social programs serve victims, address the root causes of child labor, or often both. In each country where we operate, GoodWeave tailors interventions to the context. Over the years, we have started early childhood education centers, coordinated home schooling, provided school sponsorships, and made a second home for children who desperately needed one.
Nirmala was the only daughter born to a very poor family of farmers in rural Nepal. There was not a single day when there was enough food for all of them. Some days, there was none and she would go to bed hungry.
At the age of 10, out of desperation, she ran away with friends to Kathmandu and eventually started to work in a carpet factory. Her hands became bloody and bruised, but she was never paid a single rupee.
A GoodWeave inspector found Nirmala and brought her to our transit home for rescued children. When she arrived, Nirmala didn’t even have shoes on her feet. Our social worker and counselor, Rajendra, remembers her early days at our center. “We were focused on making her laugh and play. And slowly, she started coming back to normal.”
Nirmala is now 17 and in the 9th grade at LAB School, a topnotch academic institution in Nepal. After years of missed classes, she is catching up to her peers. She recently started to journal about her life. The cover of her diary declares: My True Story Begins Now.
Addressing child labor effectively requires more than simply prohibiting the practice as a matter of law, policy or standard. One important part of the equation is ensuring that adult workers are better compensated and better treated within their workplaces.
In Tilbegumpur village in India’s Uttar Pradesh state, a 16-year-old seamstress named Gulafsa recently led her own quiet revolution. After calculating a shortfall in her paycheck, approximately three days’ worth of work, she asked her supervisor for the money. Unlike so many of her peers, she had the literacy and the job security to request her missing pay.
Gulafsa is a former child laborer. She shared her story while stitching decorative beads onto pillow covers destined for export. Gulafsa never finished the second grade. Now, she participates in daily classes – arranged by GoodWeave – in her employer’s embroidery shed, along with 20 other textile and garment workers.
Before beginning classes, Gulafsa and her coworkers were illiterate. They signed documents with thumbprints. Now they’ve mastered the basics. Their lives changed when GoodWeave launched a new program with the global retailer C&A and C&A Foundation across a region of India where women, children, and entire families stitch apparel and other textiles.
We asked Gulafsa what she would tell someone who may have a pillow or blouse that she embroidered. “I would tell them that I made it,” Gulafsa said with evident pride.
GoodWeave depends on a combination of earned income from license fees paid by partner companies and charitable investments to make our work possible. True to our mission, we are all about transparency and that also applies to our financial management. We strive to ensure that every dollar, pound or rupee paid or donated is spent to maximize benefits to the children, workers and communities we serve.
• 93% of total revenue was invested directly in programs working to end child labor.
• Companies that participate in GoodWeave’s carpet industry certification system pay license fees, which help to offset costs of the program. One-third of this program’s cash expenditures is covered by the fees. Total license revenue collected increased by 8.5% from 2015.
• New programs in apparel, jewelry, home textiles and bricks continue to grow, representing 22% of GoodWeave’s programmatic cash budget in 2016.
GoodWeave was audited by Cocchiaro & Associates LLC, Certified Public Accountants of Alexandria, Virginia. Full audited financial statements are available upon request.
GoodWeave partners with rug designers, importers and retailers to create a market for products that have been made without child labor. The following companies are GoodWeave licensed, meaning they adhere to the GoodWeave Standard to assure clients that their high-quality design are accompanied by the best labor practices.
Afghanistan Rugs and Carpets Center
Akira trading company
Alicia D. Keshishian Carpets
ALT for Living
Bennett Bean Studio
Bespoke Tibet Carpets
Cadrys Handwoven Rug
Capitol Carpets of Chelsea
Classic Rug Collection
Clive Christian Interiors
Crosby Street Studios
Danielle David Art and Design
Diane Paparo Studio
Eeuwes Studio Design
Elson & Company
Emma Gardner Design
Gary Cruz Studio
High Country Rugs
Indo Designer Rugs
Inigo Elizalde Rugs
Joseph Carini Carpets
Judy Ross Textiles
Julie Dasher Rugs
Kaja Gam Design
Katherine Richards Design
Kim Parker Home
Knots & Strokes
Kristiina Lassus Design
Landry & Arcari
LiLu Interiors Inc.
LIV by TM Interior
Liz Gamberg Studio
Liza Phillips Design
M & M Design International
Madeline Weinrib Atelier
Miller Davis Group
Momtaz Contemporary Rug Art
NIBA Rug Collections
Robin Gray Design
Sage Green Designs
Sara Schneidman Gallery
Satia Floor and Art
Scott Group Studio
Serapi Oriental Rug Gallery
Sonya Winner Rugs
Squarefoot Commercio E Decoracao
Tania Johnson Design
The Fine Rug Gallery at Macy’s
The Moorland Rug Company
The Rug Company
Warp & Weft
Wendy Morrison Design
Zoё Luyendijk Studio
The Rug Seller
GoodWeave thanks the individuals and institutions that provide vital operating support to help us achieve results for children and workers. The following list acknowledges donors that have donated $5,000 or more to GoodWeave International or its local NGO affiliates in 2016:
Greater Impact Foundation
Janet Wright Ketcham Foundation
The Skoll Foundation
The Walt Disney Company
U.S. Agency for International Development
U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Global Fund to End Modern Slavery
U.S. Department of State, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Anbinder Family Foundation
Anonymous via Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
Anonymous via Impact Assets
Estelle Friedman Gervis Family
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Limited Brands Foundation
Naomi & Nehemiah Cohen Foundation
The International Foundation
The Khaled Hosseini Foundation
The Thanksgiving Fund
The West Foundation, Inc.
Textile Recycling for Aid and International Development
Covington & Burling LLC
Mayer Brown LLC
Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers LLC
GoodWeave is grateful to have award-winning experts in child rights, social entrepreneurship, and certification serve in leadership and advisory roles in the organization.
Patricia Hambrick (Chair)
Kul Chandra Gautam (Co-Vice Chair)
Claude Fontheim (Co-Vice Chair)
Pat Zerega (Secretary)
Marc Triaureau (Treasurer)
Regatte Venkat Reddy
Walter Chapin, President and Co-founder, Company C, Inc.
David Hircock, Independent Expert (Environmental Impacts)
Hajar Husaini, Independent Expert (Supply Chain Monitoring)
Dinesh Jain, Managing Director, Flora Exports
Caroline Kent, Operations Manager, The Rug Company
Lobsang Lama, Managing Director and Chairman, Gomang Carpets Manex
Gerard Oonk, Director, India Committee of the Netherlands
Lee Swepston, Senior Advisor on Human Rights, International Labour Organization (ret.)
Indu Tuladhar, Independent Expert (Child Labor)
Scott Welker, Director of Business Development, GoodWeave International
Pashtoon Atif, Director, GoodWeave Afghanistan
Jonathan Blagbrough, Co-founder, Children Unite
Uddhav Raj Poudyal, Independent Expert
Nitu Prasad, Senior Program Coordinator, GoodWeave India
Regatte Venkat Reddy, National Convenor, MV Foundation
Kushum Sharma, Social Programme Manager, Nepal GoodWeave Foundation
Narayan Bhattarai, National Project Coordinator, International Labour Organization
Mathew John, Certification Director, GoodWeave International
Shawn MacDonald, CEO, Verite
David Ould, Board Member, GoodWeave UK
Chhatra Amatya, Independent Expert
Viraf Mehta, Independent Expert
Edward Millard, Director of Africa and South Asia, Rainforest Alliance
Nina Smith, CEO
Beth Huber, Deputy Director
Scott Welker, Director of Business Development
Pashtoon Atif, Afghanistan Country Director
Manoj Bhatt, India Country Director
Lubha Raj Neupane, Nepal Country Director
Mathew John, Director of Central Inspection Division
Biko Nagara, Senior Program Officer, Certification Standard Systems
Anoop Agarwal, Senior Program Manager
Cara Hagan, Business Development Associate
Alina Ruzmetova, Online Communications and PR Associate
Jessica Tsang, Strategic Partnerships Officer
Kimberly Trauner, Program Assistant
GoodWeave envisions a day when no child is made to work instead of going to school, and when freedom, access to education, and the right to childhood are guaranteed.
We look forward to partnering with you next year to realize this vision.