If your question is not answered below, please feel free to submit a question to the RugMark staff.
How can selling RugMark certified rugs improve my business?
Importing, selling or specifying RugMark rugs is a way to distinguish your business and capitalize on the growing market of consumers who are interested in buying socially responsible products. Plus, you’ll feel good knowing you are helping end illegal child labor.
Is the demand for RugMark certified rugs expanding?
More than 4 million carpets carrying the RugMark label have been sold in Europe and North America since 1995. The market of consumers interested in buying socially responsible products in the United States is 68 million and growing. Imports of RugMark certified rugs increased by nearly 30% in 2004 and 2005 while the market for handmade rugs remained flat.
How do I source RugMark rugs for my showroom?
Rugs from more than 30 importers carry the RugMark label. By selling rugs from these companies, you can represent the finest carpets available while offering your clients the best possible assurance that they were made under ethical conditions and without child labor. A complete list of brands is available here.
How will being a RugMark Marketing Partner support my sales?
As a RugMark Marketing Partner, you can help end child labor in the carpet industry and promote your reputation for social responsibility. You will receive point-of-sale materials and publicity support with consumer and trade media. You will also benefit from RugMark’s extensive promotion of its Partner retailers to interior designers, importers and consumers. And unlike importers, retailers are not required to pay royalties to RugMark for the licensed carpets they sell. For a copy of our Marketing Partner brochure, click here.
What if an importer tells me that their rugs were not made by child labor, yet they are not RugMark certified?
Many importers and manufacturers are supporting schools and other programs in weaving communities. But with the prevalence of child labor in hand weaving, random, surprise inspections offered by RugMark are the best way to know for sure that only adult hands were involved with production. In addition, by supporting the RugMark certification, you and your importers are contributing to industry wide transformation.
How does the RugMark certification process work?
RugMark recruits carpet producers and importers to make and sell carpets without the use of illegal child labor. By agreeing to adhere to RugMark's strict no-child-labor guidelines, permitting random inspections of carpet looms, and paying associated license fees, producers receive the right to put the RugMark label on their carpets. The label provides the best possible assurance that children were not employed in the making of a rug. It also verifies that a portion of the carpet price is contributed to the rehabilitation and education of former child weavers. In North America, only licensed RugMark importers are legally permitted to sell carpets carrying the RugMark label.
How does RugMark ensure rugs with its label are child-labor free?
To be certified by RugMark, carpet manufacturers sign a legally binding contract to produce carpets without illegal child labor; register all looms with the RugMark Foundation; and allow access to looms for unannounced inspections. Carpet looms are monitored regularly. Inspectors are trained and supervised by RugMark. Each labeled carpet is individually numbered, enabling its origin to be traced back to the loom on which it was produced.
Who carries RugMark certified rugs?
RugMark rugs are available at approximately 800 showroom and retail locations nationwide and through several online stores. These locations are searchable by zip code
How much more expensive is a RugMark certified rug?
Less than you might think. The cost to the consumer of purchasing rugs or carpets made only by adults is negligible – typically only 1/2 percent of the total retail price. On a $2,000 rug, that amounts to only $10. The fact is that a growing number of consumers are willing to spend much more on a product if they know it was made in a socially responsible manner.
I work with a range of rug vendors. Is it a problem to sell RugMark certified rugs and non-certified rugs side-by-side?
RugMark works in India, Nepal and Pakistan––three countries where the illegal child labor problem is most serious. The RugMark label offers the best possible assurance that no child labor was used to make this rug. There are many beautiful rugs produced by companies that are not part of RugMark, but that might be involved with other social projects. Our current retailers tell us that their positive association with RugMark attracts new customers, and, in fact, enhances sales of their entire rug inventory.
What’s the difference between RugMark and other labeling initiatives?
There are other “child-labor-free” labels on some rugs. RugMark is the only independent monitoring and inspection organization working in India, Nepal and Pakistan. The other labels might represent organizations running social programs but these programs are philanthropic in scope, do not include random inspections and are administered by the industry itself rather than an independent nonprofit. Rug exporters simply pay a fee to these organizations to receive “no child labor” labels without actual inspections in their factories/loom sheds. These labels do not indicate certification like the RugMark label does.
In addition, RugMark represents everyone involved in the South Asian carpet industry manufacturers, importers, exporters, retailers, and consumers. RugMark is funded by a variety of sources and is free from influence by any particular industry segment or individual government. Other labeling initiatives tend to represent single interest groups that see things from their own perspective and have their own agenda. RugMark has many voices, but only one agenda: moving all South Asian child carpet weavers from looms to schools.
Join the RugMark Marketing Partnership program to increase your sales, enhance your brand awareness, and do the right thing. The program provides tangible business benefits and critical financial support to RugMark’s work. Marketing Partners receive higher profile recognition on the RugMark website, special marketing tools, and press exposure through focused editorial efforts and advertising.
To join RugMark’s Marketing Partnership program, contact Scott Welker at or . Or download the complete Marketing Partnership brochure in PDF format and return the application form.