Turquoise Mountain steps up support for female Afghan weavers 

August 24, 2023

In collaboration with Label STEP, Turquoise Mountain have been increasing their support for female weavers

Turquoise Mountain and its fair-trade partner Label STEP have increased their support for female weavers across Afghanistan over the last year in response to the severe economic problems the country has faced since the Taliban took over in 2021. 

Photo by Kiana Hayeri

Over the last twelve months, Label STEP, as part of the Afghan carpet development programme led by Turquoise Mountain, has distributed 440 ergonomic looms, 2500 eyeglasses and carried out more than 2300 medical check-ups, benefitting almost 5000 individual weavers. 

This support is in addition to the regular auditing activities carried out by Label STEP to ensure that the production of Turquoise Mountain carpets meets the organisation’s 10-point STEP Standard related to labour, health, safety, social and environmental rules. 

Photo by Kiana Hayeri

Toby Ash, Commercial Director at Turquoise Mountain, said: ‘For almost a decade, Turquoise Mountain has been supplying commercial partners around the world with some of the highest quality carpets made in Afghanistan today. Our team on the ground supports some of the country’s best producers to ensure they can consistently make to the standard required by leading retailers.

Photo by Kiana Hayeri

‘We are also there to support the weavers, by helping them generate sustainable incomes and improving their working conditions. These are challenging times in Afghanistan, and we are pleased that through our partnership with Label STEP, we have been able to increase our level of support.’

Photo by Kiana Hayeri

Reto Aschwanden, Managing Director at Label STEP, commented: ‘This has been an extremely busy year for our team in Afghanistan in challenging circumstances. Through our partnership with Turquoise Mountain, we’re looking forward to delivering enhanced levels of support to even more weavers in the future.’

Photo by Kiana Hayeri

Turquoise Mountain is a UK charity, founded by His Majesty King Charles in 2006. Its carpet programme in Afghanistan is supported by the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) and other international donors. 

Sanjay Purhoit, Director of Carpet Sales at Turquoise Mountain, added: ‘This has been a very well-received program by our customers, who continue to support the work. They find the mission compelling and have found beauty in giving back to this community while enriching the lives of end users with beautiful carpets. The success of the program can be judged by the significant growth in orders globally.’

Photo by Kiana Hayeri

The organisation will be exhibiting its latest collections at the Rug Show at the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus NJ from 9-11 September.  

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