When NCL was founded in 1899, one its primary objectives was to achieve better working conditions for workers across the country; the League’s first constitution states, “goods [should] be produced and distributed at reasonable prices and in adequate quantity, but under fair, safe, and healthy working conditions that foster quality products for consumers and a decent standard of living for workers.”
Florence Kelley, NCL’s first leader, created the NCL White Label campaign to promote decent working conditions by encouraging the sale of products produced under a set of regulatory guidelines. The League implemented a system of inspecting production sites and offered the NCL White Label to products that met the League’s requirements. The League also educated consumers about the negative effects of subsidizing sweatshop labor and urged consumers to boycott goods that failed to carry the label. Eventually, much of the league’s legislative agenda – including a minimum wage and the abolition of child labor – was enacted, forcing manufacturers to reform their abusive production practices.
Today, GoodWeave is conducting a similar, outstanding campaign also aimed at eradicating child labor. According to the organization’s website, GoodWeave was founded on a simple premise: If enough people demand certified child-labor-free rugs, manufacturers will employ only skilled, adult artisans, and children will no longer be exploited in the carpet industry. GoodWeave inspects and certifies carpet-weaving facilities and offers its trademarked label to rugs that meet its production standards. However, the nonprofit’s work goes beyond certification, the group also rescues children directly from the looms, helps fund educational opportunities for children, and provides resources for weaving families and communities.