OUR COMMITMENT TO THE WEAVING INDUSTRY
Our rugs are traditionally and ethically crafted in two main localities: Kathmandu, Nepal and Bhadohi, India. As well as championing the time-honoured craft of rug weaving, it is a founding principle of our business to engage, inspire and — most importantly — empower the artisans who work for us. Rug production in India and Nepal has for many hundreds of years operated as a cottage industry, whereby individuals craft goods from home having inherited the art of rug-making from their ancestors. Under this model, every stage of the craft — from the dyeing through to the weaving and finishing — is undertaken by different artisans in varying locations. Since we began, we have worked closely with our weavers and dyers to integrate this decentralised model with comprehensive quality checks and constant support.
In Nepal, we partner with over 400 craftspeople who work on the hand-dyeing, weaving and finishing of our rugs. Each skill is its own unique art that is most often learned from a parent or family elder. However, absolutely no child labour is used in the production of any of our rugs and this is monitored closely both internally and externally by organisations such as
There is still work to be done in this area, especially in remote regions of Nepal that regulatory bodies cannot access and monitor as easily. Therefore, the head of our weaving centre in Nepal, who was invited to join GoodWeave as a board member, worked with us to form an association to highlight and report improper practice within the industry.
Our weavers’ children are automatically enrolled in our dedicated schools scheme, which ensures that every child has access to the high standard of education they deserve. As well as paying for tuition, it also covers the costs of textbooks, transportation and uniforms. Many schools were destroyed or partly ruined in the 2015 earthquake and additional funding has been crucial in the rebuilding process.
Many of our weavers still live and work in the area surrounding Bhadohi in which they were raised. There, we are working to implement change from the heart of the community outwards. Along with local residents, we significantly contribute to a fund set-up in collaboration with the head of our weaving centre that supports those who would not otherwise have proper access to schooling and medical care.
Access to education and quality healthcare is often difficult and complicated outside the privatised system (especially for young women and girls) and thus the community fund is vital. We also run several additional projects throughout the year. Currently, we are working closely with a local computer education centre, sponsoring young women to complete vocational courses designed to equip them with invaluable skills and broaden their horizons in the digital age.
In an effort to provide more regulation and security for our employees, every step in creating a Jennifer Manners rug takes place under one roof where possible. As well as helping to maintain impeccable quality and consistency, it crucially provides secure and stable employment for our weavers and dye-masters.