Embassy congratulates the Afghan Carpet Industry's first company to have rugs GoodWeave certified child-labor-free

Embassy of Afghanistan

Ahmad Ahmadi speaks to guests at the certification celebration dinner.

WASHINGTON – The Embassy of Afghanistan congratulates Ariana Rugs, Inc., owned and operated by Afghan native Ahmadi family, for becoming Afghanistan’s first exporter to be licensed by GoodWeave® and to have its rugs certified as child-labor-free. Partnering with GoodWeave means that that the company’s product development and distribution chain under GoodWeave’s monitoring and inspection system is entirely free of child-labor.

“Part of our job in the government is to promote job creation and industry growth, while making sure women receive the same treatment in all industries and their children have the opportunity to get an education. That is why I congratulate and support Ariana Rugs and its model for creating beautiful, high quality carpets while simultaneously improving the industry as a whole,” said Ambassador Eklil Hakimi. “I thank GoodWeave for their important work, and from the government side, we hope to encourage other companies to follow Ariana’s lead.”

The presence of a widely recognized GoodWeave label on a product assures that children were not exploited in the making of that product, a point increasingly important with North American and European consumers. Hand-weaving rugs is mostly a home-based enterprise in Afghanistan with mostly women weavers. Ariana Rugs employees must send their children to school as a stipulation of their employment freeing women weavers to earn more for their families while ensuring the generation educational advancement.

“If we can get one child from the loom and send them to school, then I think we have achieved our mission,” co-founder Ahmad Ahmadi said.

Ariana Rugs also found success at the recent Afghanistan/USA Carpet Conference in Dubai in September and at the October High Point Market exhibition in North Carolina. The Embassy played a critical role in facilitating these shows, connecting talented carpet producers in Afghanistan with top industry buyers and designers.

Because the carpet sector provides millions of jobs for Afghans, the majority of which women occupy, according to Afghanistan’s Minister for Commerce and Industry Dr. Anwar ul-Haq Ahady, the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, D.C., has been deeply involved in various initiatives to revitalize and internationally promote the historically and culturally rich Afghan carpet industry. It also supports the efforts of partners in the private and nonprofit sectors to eliminate the use of child labor in the industry.

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About Ariana Rugs:
Ariana Rugs is based in Los Angeles, California and has owned looms in Kabul since 2002. The company’s signature rugs combine modern and traditional taste in a look dubbed “modern antique.” The carpets are well-known for their muted, washed out, low-pile style that includes a nod to traditional rugs. The beautiful and understated rugs have won several prestigious awards, including the Magnificent Carpet Award sponsored by Architectural Digest in 2010.

About GoodWeave:
GoodWeave is an international nonprofit founded in 1994 whose mission is to end child exploitation in the rug industry in South and Cenral Asia, and provide educational opportunities to children in weaving communities. Since its founding, GoodWeave has helped slash the number of children laboring in the carpet industry from about 1 million to about 250,000 today.

Photos are available of Ariana Rugs’ owners, rug weaving operations in Afghanistan, and Mr. Ahmadi receiving recognition at the GoodWeave banquet.