Tackling malpractices first requires the recognition that such things actually exist. Yet even once this is achieved, a great deal of energy, stamina and persuasion are usually needed to alleviate these situations or to go as far as transforming them into something positive. The Swiss association Label STEP, headquartered in Bern, has been campaigning for fair conditions in the production and sale of handmade carpets since 1995 and is active in all the major countries for sourcing carpets - Afghanistan, India, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan and Turkey. But Label STEP will also be showcasing itself with a stand at DOMOTEX 2018 in Hannover to enable visitors to find out more about its activities at the heart of the leading trade fair for carpets and floor coverings.
The STEP fair trade label is only awarded to carpet dealers who are socially committed to carpet workers. The following criteria need to be met - good working conditions and fair purchase prices, which enable fair wages, no abusive child labor, independent production and sale controls, environmentally friendly production methods and development projects to improve living conditions.
These fair trade standards don’t just apply to individual handmade carpets from Label STEP licensees. Instead, the complete range of handmade carpets needs to meet these criteria. The participating dealers also undertake to open up all their purchases and supply chains, allow checks and, where appropriate, initiate improvements in carpet production.