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Producing carpets under fair and good conditions!
International organizations such as the Swiss fair trade Label STEP – Lyk Carpet’s cooperating partner – dedicate themselves to better working conditions in the Nepalese carpet industry. For manufacturers who cooperate with STEP this means environmentally friendly production, regular inspections, daycare for small children and fair wages for weavers, adjusted to the “living wage”. These wages are above the average income and ensure that all the workers and their families are able to survive on their own income.
Production in a traditional Tibetan family business
Lyk carpets are produced at a family business with about 65 workers in Kathmandu Valley. This is the centre of the Nepalese carpet industry. The workshop owner is a Tibetan expatriate who learned the craft from his grandparents in Tibet. He still uses the traditional techniques and works exclusively with natural dyes. In addition to his core workforce he also employs an established group of migrant workers, weavers from rural regions who live on-site at the workshop. Their children are looked after in the company-owned day care. All men and women in the company have equal rights and receive equal wages.
A fair carpet industry secures good living conditions
Label STEP has been working to achieve fair conditions in the manufacture and trade of handmade carpets since 1995. It operates in all major carpet-producing countries: in Afghanistan, India, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan and Turkey.
The fair-trade label STEP is awarded to those carpet dealers, who commit to social responsibility for carpet workers:
- for good working conditions and fair purchasing prices ensuring fair wages
- against abusive child labour
- for independent production inspections
- for environmentally friendly production methods
- for development projects for better living conditions
These fairtrade principles not only apply to individual handmade carpets of a Label STEP licensee but to his entire range of handmade carpets. Carpet dealers are obliged to provide Label STEP with a full account of all their purchases and supply chains, to allow inspections to take place and, whenever necessary, to initiate measures for improvement.
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