Nina Smith

GoodWeave International

GoodWeave prevents child labour in the global carpet industry by building market demand for rugs certified as child-labour-free and preventing child labour in production sites.
Focus: Child labour, Human rights 
Geographic Area of Impact: India, Nepal, Afghanistan
Model: Leveraged non-profit
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 50,835 (2015)
Annual Budget: USD $3.2 million (2015)
Percentage Earned Revenue: 18% (2015)
The Social Problem
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that 168 million children globally work as child labourers. In many South Asian markets, child labour is prevalent in the production of carpets. These children suffer work-related injuries and physical abuse, experience ailments such as respiratory tract infections, earn minimal pay and remain uneducated. Incidence of child labour also drives down the wages for adults, further contributing to poverty in many low-income households.
Innovation and Activities         
GoodWeave works to eliminate child labour from the global carpet industry by intervening at both ends of the supply chain. In the key sales markets in the United States and Europe, GoodWeave focuses on creating wholesaler and consumer preference for child-labour-free carpets through its certification label. The organisation has recruited 140 global brands including Macy’s, Restoration Hardware and Target, as well as their suppliers and licensees in Asia, who adopt and pay for the GoodWeave certification.
At production sites in India, Afghanistan and Nepal, GoodWeave conducts unannounced inspections. Carpet manufacturers whose sites are found to be child-labour-free are endorsed with the GoodWeave label and cleared for shipment. If any children are found during these inspections, GoodWeave rehabilitates them through counselling, sponsored education, homeschooling and other opportunities. Depending on the extent of non-compliance, the shipment is not assigned a certification label or the supplier’s license is revoked. Companies can refuse shipment or delist the supplier for six months to a year.  
From 2014 to 2015, the total global market share of GoodWeave certified carpets increased from 5.1% to 8.4%, putting the organisation on track to achieve its goal of certifying 17% of the global market by 2020. GoodWeave estimates that the number of child labourers in the carpet supply chains has been reduced by 80% to an estimated 200,000, in large part due to how effectively its consumer awareness efforts and certification process has shifted demand and compliance requirements. GoodWeave estimates that the incidence of child labour in the rug industry can be effectively eliminated by 2020.
In addition to increasing the number of certified rugs, licensees and production sites, GoodWeave is focused on partnering with the private sector to replicate its approach in two ways. First, it targets child labour in other supply chains such as garments and bricks; and second, it targets other human rights issues such as bonded labour. Furthermore, it is focused on broadening its certification framework to include considerations such as fair wages and business transparency.
The Entrepreneur
Nina Smith, the Executive Director of GoodWeave, is an advocate for children’s rights and an expert on solving labour rights violations in manufacturing supply chains. She is the winner of the 2005 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship and The Center for Nonprofit Advancement’s 2012 EXCEL Award for Excellence in Chief Executive Leadership. She serves on the board of the Fair Labor Association. GoodWeave (formerly known as Rugmark) was founded by Kailash Satyarthi, the winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.