Editor's View November 2017

Good That’s Good For Business

Prompted by the Millennials’—and other generations’—thirst to know where products come from, remaining ignorant about or turning a blind eye to how products are created is not only bad ethics, but bad business these days as well. In the eyes of today’s consumers, companies who take on social responsibility are winners, whether it is related to the making of their products or to contributing to good causes from profits. It’s an era in which the idea is strengthening that doing good is good for business.
There are a number of organizations that certify good practices. GoodWeave® is a non-profit organization that certifies rugs are made free of child labor. Its market-driven model includes: corporate engagement, labor monitoring, product certification, consumer awareness, victim assistance and grassroots social programs.
In its 20-year history, GoodWeave globally has freed more than 3,800 children from labor on the looms, educated more than 20,000 children and improved working conditions for nearly 56,000 weavers. Today, its corporate partnerships number more than 140 brands worldwide.
In September 2017, Grund America joined with GoodWeave to combat child labor in global supply chains. Grund America’s Czech parent company, Grund, is a long-time supporter of social projects in India and Peru.
Last year, Amer Rugs earned SA8000® status from Social Accountability International (SAI) for its India manufacturing unit, Sataswati Global Ltd. Amer’s social commitment has been a primary focus since Mahesh Chaudhary started the company in 1986.
According to SAI, the SA8000 standard is one of the first auditable social certification standards for decent workplaces, across all industrial sectors. Those complying have adopted policies that protect workers’ basic human rights, including requirements affecting child and forced labor, health and safety, rights to collective bargaining, discrimination, disciplinary practices, working hours and remuneration.
In October 2017, bedding accessories maker, Malouf, announced a new initiative to take on the issue of human trafficking. Through the Malouf Foundation, the company will focus efforts and funding to support non-profit and law enforcement endeavors to free victims and prosecute criminals, as well as to aid in the aftercare and rehabilitation of child survivors.
For the past two years, the Malouf Foundation has provided bedding for aftercare centers set up by Operation Underground Railroad, a non-profit organization that rescues children from sex trafficking. The company now plans to introduce ways industry partners can get involved as well as a new line of products that will raise funds for the Malouf Foundation.
During this Thanksgiving season, perhaps it’s appropriate to think about ways to express gratitude by doing good for others—not only personally, but through business as well. For more details on the organizations mentioned, visit: goodweave.org, sa-intl.org and malouffoundation.org.