GoodWeave International, a global organisation dedicated to ending child labour in supply chains, has launched a new labelling standard to address the issue of child exploitation in retail production of woven items for the home.
Developed and tested over the last two years by the award-winning non-profit, the GoodWeave Home Textiles Certification both identifies labour exploitation and provides education to those children found.
All products certified, such as cushion covers, pouffes and table covers, will feature a unique, GoodWeave numbered label. The first companies in the UK to sign up are Namaste and Myakka, and the scheme is initially available to all companies which import woven soft furnishings direct from India – and will soon commence for similar products from Nepal.
The UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 places the responsibility on retailers and importers to ensure their manufacturing supply chains are free of child labour and exploitation. However, for goods such as home textiles, which are typically sub-contracted to numerous small workshops and home workers and are often therefore invisible to normal supply chain audits, verification has previously proved virtually impossible.
The GoodWeave certification scheme marries up a retailer or importer with its suppliers, binding them within a license framework and adherence to the GoodWeave International Standard. The scheme creates a unique map of the manufacturing supply chain, by product. GoodWeave then carries out audits and unannounced inspections, at all levels of production, including homeworkers. For the retailer or importer, this gives them the assurances they need, while the manufacturer understands compliance with the standard is linked to future orders.