Our economy has clearly gone global in the 20th and 21st centuries, but child labor is one tradition that has remained. Case in point: in 2000, one million children worked in the rug industry in South Asia. The carpets they were weaving may have been comfortable, but their labor was not. That year, Nina Smith launched the US organization of GoodWeave, a non-profit that works to end child labor in the South Asian carpet industry and provide education for those children instead. Now, child labor in the industry is down 75%.
Portland’s Lapchi has been a participating carpet manufacturer in this effort from the start. (Kush is another local company that sells certified GoodWeave carpets.) Lapchi has invited Smith, GoodWeave’s US director, to its Atelier showroom, where they’ll be holding a benefit for GoodWeave Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 5 p.m. Smith will speak about what the organization is doing and explain how they certify carpets as child labor-free. She’ll be joined by Andrew Neave, the articulate and always interesting artistic director of Lapchi.
Raffle tickets will be sold at the event, with all proceeds going to GoodWeave. The tickets are $25, and the winner will enjoy “Fruits of Labor,” a carpet designed by Milton Glaser for Lapchi. Glaser, the polymath octogenarian designer (creator of Lapchi's new line of carpets, and of the “I (heart) NY” logo, among other iconic designs) designed the carpet knowing it would be Lapchi’s donation to this year’s GoodWeave fundraising drive, and named it accordingly.