The RugMark Foundation

The RugMark Foundation

Maxwell Ryan
Jul 26, 2007

We're an official supporter. Did "slave" children make your rug? You may have lately heard about children being trapped into laboring in brick factories in China, but you may not have known that the worldwide rug market has been a tremendous driver of enforced child labor in South Asia.

Started in 1994, The RugMark Foundation is an amazingly proactive and intelligent attempt to battle this problem by creating market incentive. Rather than police the factories and rescue the children, only to see them replaced by other children, RugMark offers their accreditation to those factories that agree not to hire children and permit random inspections...

To date, more than four million carpets bearing the RugMark label have been sold in Europe and North America, and more than 3,000 children have been freed.

Since the 1980's it's been known that large numbers of children are illegally employed in South Asia's rug factories. Even more shocking, many children have been found to be victims of debt bondage or forced labor, practices banned by the United Nations and condemned as contemporary forms of slavery. You can read more about the story of RugMark here.

We are proud to support RugMark's cause and urge all our readers to look for the RugMark label when buying your rugs. Member companies include:

Design Within Reach
Angela Adams
Emma Gardner
Carini Lang
and a number of others

Member companies SHOULD INCLUDE:

Crate & Barrel
Room & Board
Pottery Barn
and a host of others....

As a media partner, Apartment Therapy is helping to get the word out to shoppers, designers and media folks in order to make the RugMark label more noticeable and understood.

If you're shopping for a rug, look for the label, and if you don't see it, ask why. When shoppers start asking questions, the companies will change their practices. We recently heard that the Rug Company is in negotiations to join RugMark, so if you swing by their stores, give them a pat on the back.

(Pics: ©Romano/Stolen Childhoods)

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