Grund America LLC
When Jiri Grund decided to expand his family’s nearly three decades old bathmat business, Czech-Republic-based Grund, to the United States, it was an obvious decision. His research indicated that a sophisticated segment of the American market would welcome the bath rugs, long time favorites of Europeans. Jiri was certain that a Grund America version of the parent company’s high quality, sustainable, certified organic bath rug would be a hit. He was right. The bath rug, Jiri says, is a simple product but surprisingly important. “What I love is that even this small product can produce joy and radiate something great.” Part of that “great” he says, is that membership in GoodWeave guarantees Grund America’s customers that the weaving process is monitored and ethical. “We would never accept child labor! We take responsibility for what we do.”
Nearly all European buyers and now more and more U.S. consumers expect this type of ethical assurance when they buy products. There are differences, however, he says, between the U.S. and European buyer’s taste. Americans, he explains, seem to prefer simple motifs and earth colors such as ivory, greens and beiges while Europeans prefer strong designs and reds, blues and black. But he says, customers on both sides of the Atlantic unanimously appreciate the organic cotton rugs’ high pile, plush feeling, affordability, durability and, of course, the fact that the rugs are environmentally friendly. The one hundred percent organic Indian cotton bath rugs are safe too because there are no pesticides used in the fields or production process and the dyes are chemical-free and certified by The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).
The Grund family takes social responsibility and commitment to the community seriously. Those principles permeate everything the company does and has done since its beginning. When Grund was first opened out of the family home, Jiri says, the employees worked alongside family members and were treated like family. They still are today even though Grund has more than two hundred employees on two continents. The Grunds’ idea of responsibility to employees and community also extends beyond their own company. For example, Grund supports innovative social projects for Tibetans in India and indigenous people of Peru to help them, Jiri explains modestly, “to be masters of their own destiny.” The Grunds donate knitting machines to villages and train community members how to use the machines to produce items for sale with their local materials (such as llama wool) and that are expressions of their own cultures. Grund America based in North Carolina follows in the tradition and is an active supporter of the Humane Society.
When asked about his company’s values and his many projects, Jiri Grund consistently and modestly downplays his role. “We do this for our beliefs,” he says with humility. “There are more important things than pure monetary profit–like a good night’s sleep. I couldn’t sleep if we did otherwise.”
Grund America is now launching the NEW Charleston Series as its first GoodWeave certified product. The Charleston bath rug is hand made and offers a simple softness and durable looped construction with a subtle border design. Made with 100% GOTS Certified Organic Cotton, Grund uses the finest quality cotton fibers spared pesticides and chemicals during production, harvesting and processing. You can feel good knowing each rug is responsibly made to the highest social and environmental standards and the cotton used can be traced to the very community of cultivation.
To learn more, visit grundamerica.com