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RugMark To Speak on Child Labor At San Francisco Dwell on Design Community Forum

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RugMark and three of its licensed rug designers will inform the “green” design community about the importance of humanitarian standards in the making of handmade carpets at Dwell on Design on September 14-16, 2007 in San Francisco. Exploitative child labor is prevalent in the carpet industry and RugMark’s aim is to permanently end this practice. Alicia Keshishian Carpets of Imagination (www.acarpets.com), Bennett Bean Studio (www.bennettbeanstudio.com) and Dorjé Contemporary (www.dorjecontemporary.com) will exhibit their certified child-labor-free rugs in the RugMark-designated section comprising booths 50, 51 and 52 at the San Francisco Concourse Exhibition Center. On Saturday, September 15, 2007 at 3:30 P.M. PDT, RugMark USA Executive Director Nina Smith will take to the stage at the Dwell on Design Community Forum to lead a discussion entitled “Rugmark Certified Child-Labor-Free Carpets: A Beautiful Purchase that Makes a Difference.” Smith’s presentation will highlight RugMark’s independent monitoring and certification process, which is a consumer and designer’s best assurance that an imported carpet was woven by adult artisans and not children. “Dwell on Design is the perfect venue for RugMark to engage designers and end consumers to see the true beauty in handmade rugs,” says Smith. “The RugMark label ensures no one, especially children, was harmed in the weaving process.” On both the exhibition floor and in the community forum, RugMark will share the message that a rug made by children is ugly no matter what it looks like. While there are still 300,000 children working illegally in the carpet industry in India, Nepal and Pakistan, RugMark’s inspection and monitoring programs have helped to reduce the incidence of child labor by approximately two-thirds over the last decade and have provided educational opportunities to thousands of former child weavers. RugMark’s goal is to educate consumers and design professionals about child labor in the carpet industry and to foster a marketplace that demands child-labor-free carpets. “This market-driven change is achievable within our lifetime and will ultimately eliminate child labor in the rug industry in India, Nepal and Pakistan,” Smith says. Dwell is a lead sponsor of The Most Beautiful Rug: RugMark’s Campaign to End Child Labor and has donated advertising space, hosted benefit events and provided extensive editorial coverage of RugMark. For more information about Dwell on Design, please visit www.dwellondesign.com. About RugMark RugMark is an international nonprofit organization working to end exploitative child labor in the carpet industry and give educational opportunities to children in India, Nepal and Pakistan. The RugMark label offers the best assurance that no illegal child labor was used in the manufacture of a carpet or rug. A list of importers and retailers that sell RugMark certified rugs is available at www.RugMark.org.

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