A Rug for a One in a Million Kid

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Custom Cool’s Eliza Gatfield got her start designing kids’ rugs – until she learned the tragic irony that her rugs were being made by children. The discovery was so devastating for the ethically-minded designer that she put her career dreams on hold: Eliza preferred to make nothing rather than make a product that robbed children of their own dreams, including getting to go to school.

When she found out about GoodWeave and its rigorous system of frequent, unannounced inspections, Eliza decided to renew her business. Last month, Custom Cool proudly opened a new showroom in the Hamptons, whose wall bears photos of children rescued by GoodWeave and the tagline “Ending child labor in the rug industry – one rug at a time.”

No parent would want their child to play on a rug made at the expense of another. And they don’t have to – several GoodWeave members offer playful, affordable kids’ rugs that not only are made by skilled adult artisans, but also help fund children’s education in the communities where they are made.

The GoodWeave certification has cross-generational appeal to rug buyers, according to Chiaki Kanda, a designer with GoodWeave partner notNeutral. “We recently heard from a customer who won a small victory in the choice of a rug for her daughter’s room. The rug was to be a gift from the grandmother, but the one that she had selected was not really to their liking. The customer had had her eye on our ‘Green Season’ rug, but did not know how to persuade the grandmother to purchase this rug based simply on a matter of taste and style,” said Chiaki. “When she learned that our rugs are GoodWeave certified, however, she was able to seal the deal without hurting anyone’s feelings!”

Many companies offer rug customization, making it a great gift for a newly-born or newly-weds building their first nest together. Scott Welker, Director of Business Development, ordered a special indi-B “Garden” rug bordered with his son Jacob’s name in anticipation of his arrival into the world. “Jacob’s rug holds a special place in our hearts; we love the design, the fact it commemorates his birth and that its GoodWeave certified,” said Scott. “We know Jacob will be proud to learn ‘his rug’ supported the freedom and education of children half a world away.”

Looking for a rug for the One in a Million kid in your life? Watch the above slideshow of GoodWeave certified rugs for some bright ideas. Most of these rugs are available for sale online; click here for a list of sale sites offering certified rugs.

Stand with Sanju

Stand with Sanju film still

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Children's Stories

At the age of five, Manju was already working on the rug looms. While she has since been found and freed from illegal carpet work, some 250,000 children throughout South Asia still toil in obscurity. Through GoodWeave nearly 3,600 kids like Manju have been rescued, rehabilitated and educated, and thousands more deterred from entering the work force.

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