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By the late 1980s, Kailash Satyarthi, Chairman of the South Asian Coalition on Children in Servitude (SACCS), was leading the global fight against child labor. Seeking to create an industry-wide market incentive for manufacturers to stop exploiting children, he founded GoodWeave in September 1994 as a coalition of non-governmental organizations, businesses, government entities and multilateral groups.
The first carpets bearing the predecessor of the GoodWeave label were exported from India at the begining of 1995, mainly to Germany. Certification efforts later expanded to Nepal, and both the United Kingdom and the United States joined Germany as importer countries. GoodWeave International was the body overseeing the country level offices. By building both the supply of and demand for child labor-free rugs, GoodWeave has catalyzed a profound shift in the marketplace. Since GoodWeave's founding, more than 11 million certified carpets have been sold in Europe and North America, and the number of children trapped in exploitative carpet-making work has dropped from 1,000,000 to 250,000.
GoodWeave aims to stop child labor in the carpet industry and to replicate its market-based approach in other sectors.