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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Child Labor

I don't know how many of you are aware of child labor. Or if you understand the extent of it. I am not saying this in a way where I want to make you seem ignorant, but the truth is, most of us are unaware of the sad state of affairs in our world. We live in such a fabulous country full of all sorts of opportunities that we do not witness the worlds need on a daily basis. For those of you that have lived or are from third world countries you know what I am talking about. You may not want to remember it, think of it, envision it, but YOU have seen these children's lives with your two eyes and it can't be denied.

Children are abused and neglected in every way. But to see a little girl of 6, or a little boy of 3 working 14-16-20 hour days, it breaks my heart! This is why I am so excited about this Rug Mark U.S.A program. NO it's not a fix for the situation. For that we need government, society and basically everyone to get involved, and I doubt that will be happening, but fortunately we do have organizations, and individuals that ban together to help make the wrong in our world right. And this is precisely what Rug Mark U.S.A. is doing.

(The picture above with the little girl of about three and the boy in the blue striped shirt was taken in my country of birth, Colombia, South America. While living there I witnessed this sadness and daily. It made it hard to sleep at night when I knew the little boy or girl I had seen walking barefoot in the streets that day was working and crying for their mommy while while I was tucked in safely in my bed with my mom just a room away. I appreciate the opportunity to do what I can to help. I hope for Colombia and the world to be free of this burden one day).

Rug Mark is exposing child labor for what it is, and urging others to realize it's severity. They have put together what they call a "Good Weave Rug Sourcebook." (Brilliant idea if you ask me.) It is a guide for designers to source hand made rugs that are ETHICALLY produced. There are about 70 U.S. companies listed (yet another thing that makes me proud, go U.S.A!!!)

Here is the best part...Rug Mark USA was founded in 1995. At that time there were over 1 MILLION children in child labor for making rug carpets alone (can you IMAGINE how much child labor is out there if making rugs had 1 million???!!!) Since then, the children in rug labor has declined from 1 million to 250,000! Now THAT is improvement! Nevertheless, 250,000 children are still too many and we can do more to help. It is up to us, designers, the public, and YOU, to make a difference.

If you are designing your own home and looking for rugs, you may contact to receive free copies of this book to make sure you are doing your part and saving children from child labor. As for us, designers and those in the field, we have a HUGE RESPONSIBILITY to these children. EVERY TIME we suggest a rug for a client, we can either work for these children or against them. We can either be save or burden. Which will you choose? Please contact Rug Mark USA at the link I provided above, and order a few free copies of the book yourself. It will only take you a minute to do and it will save many children from a lack of childhood they so deserve.



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