RugMark is working to end illegal child labor in the carpet industry and to offer educational opportunities to children in South Asia.

 Win a Rug

Become a Licensed Importer

Why become a licensed importer of RugMark certified rugs? Two reasons:  It’s good for business and it’s the right thing to do. Join a growing list of licensed importers who have responded to the increased demand in the marketplace for products made with social responsibility in mind.

The facts
More than 40 importers and 1000 retail outlets across the country are working with RugMark. In the U.S., the demand for imports of certified child-labor-free rugs increased from $0 annually in 1997 to $7.5 million annually in 2005.  And it will only continue to grow, thanks to The Most Beautiful Rug: RugMark’s Campaign to End Child Labor. The goal is to build a market valued at $75 million, or 15% of total handmade rug imports in the next decade. This will wipe out child labor on an industrywide basis.

Two reasons why you should become a licensed importer with RugMark are: 

1) It’s Good for Business

Access a growing market segment. 
Demand for socially responsible products is growing. LOHAS consumers, meaning that they include health, social responsibility and environmental considerations in their purchasing decisions, make up 23% of the adult U.S. population. The RugMark certification label identifies your rugs as socially responsible to the estimated 68 million socially responsible U.S. consumers.

Increase Market Value.
RugMark certification adds value and offers a distinction of quality and integrity during pricing discussions. A 2005 Harvard University study with a major New York City retailer showed increased sales volume for independently certified products made with good labor standards. Plus, people paid up to 20 percent more for comparable products that were not certified. 

Build Customer Trust and Loyalty.
90% of Americans would consider switching to another brand if they were to discover a company employed negative practices.  The same people remain loyal to companies associated with a good cause, according to the 2004 Cone Corporate Citizenship Study, a multiyear research study produced by Cone, Inc., a Boston-based market research firm.

Minimize Risk.
Although international and national laws prohibit child labor, enforcement in South Asia is scant. RugMark provides an innovative solution for the rug industry, offering independent verification that illegal child labor is not employed by RugMark licensed manufacturers. This system offers U.S. importers, their retailers and clients a high level of assurance that international labor laws are not violated within their supply chain.

Ensure a Stable Supply Chain.
By supporting healthy weaving communities and utilizing looms that are independently inspected and provide good working conditions, you increase quality assurance and uninterrupted production.

Build Brand Recognition.
RugMark recently launched The Most Beautiful Rug: RugMark’s Campaign to End Child Labor. This national consumer awareness effort, designed by Crispin, Porter + Bogusky—one of the world’s leading advertising agencies, includes a comprehensive strategy to build market share of RugMark certified rugs. Through broad-based support from media sponsors like Dwell, Metropolis and the Modern Luxury publishing group, the ad campaign launched nationally with focused efforts in New York City and San Francisco. The campaign also includes support by industry organizations like the American Institute of Architects with major funding provided by the Skoll Foundation. Licensed importers benefit from these efforts through media coverage, point-of-sale materials, Website listings, and more.

Be Identified as an Industry Leader.
Some of the hand-loom carpet industry’s most influential business leaders and innovative designers were among the first to recognize RugMark’s long-term potential to raise the quality of their products and build customer loyalty. The RugMark label is a mark of industry leadership.

2) It’s the Right Thing to Do

End Child Labor.
The RugMark system has a proven track record. Experts estimate that child labor on South Asia’s carpet looms has dropped from 1 million to 300,000 since the launch of RugMark 11 years ago. Through its rigorous inspection and monitoring system, RugMark has rescued more than 3,000 children from illegal carpet work and successfully deterred thousands more from entering the workforce.

Give Back to Weaving Communities
Importers are the backbone of the RugMark program. Out of the small royalty fee paid by licensed importers, 60 % is returned to South Asia to educate children and support other social programs in weaving communities. RugMark’s 13 affiliated schools and scholarship programs educate former child weavers and children living in weaving communities.

Create Lasting Change.
Many rug importers already support worthy social programs in South Asia. RugMark is not just another program. RugMark has a comprehensive system that cares for thousands of children in the short term while implementing a long-term strategy for the complete elimination of child labor in the South Asian rug industry. RugMark strikes at the root of the problem.