COVER Connect Talk on Demand: Sustainability in Practice
HALI’s sister publication, COVER, works with the world’s leading rug brands, many of whom joined COVER in January for COVER Connect, a virtual event bringing the handmade rug industry together in place of the start-of-the-year trade and design fairs. The COVER Connect Talks are now available to watch on demand at your convenience. Visit the COVER website to watch any of the seven panel discussions featuring thirty distinguished speakers tackling the three interrelated topics of Sustainability, Collaboration and Interior Design.
The term sustainability is increasingly popular, but how can it be defined, practiced, monitored and accredited in the rug industry? Where and how can fair trade, the environment, social mobility and the circular economy be considered side by side? This discussion tackles the need for a holistic approach to a complex term.
Fashionable and deeply nuanced, the term sustainability is increasingly popular, but how can it be pragmatically defined, practiced, monitored and accredited in the handmade rug industry? Where and how can fair trade, the green movement, social mobility and the circular economy all be considered side by side? These panelists and their organisations are committed to improving the working and living conditions of weavers and artisans globally, addressing the root causes of child and bonded labour, promoting transparency in supply chains, encouraging considerate material and manufacturing choices and respecting fragile eco-systems without forgetting economic viability. This discussion tackles the need for a holistic, responsible approach to a complex term.
Ben Evans, the chair of this discussion, is Editor of HALI magazine—the only specialist arts magazine dedicated to antique carpets and textiles—published quarterly from London since 1978. Ben has built on this publication’s international acclaim and outstanding reputation for in-depth articles, launching COVER magazine to represent the contemporary market in 2005, and establishing book-publishing projects, cultural tours and events.
Michael Christie is a noted writer, commentator and theorist in the field of handmade rugs and carpets. He is known for his irreverent and direct writings as ‘The Ruggist’, guest and featured columns in trade publications such as HALI and COVER magazines, and the recent editorship of Rug Insider magazine. Christie’s authoritative voice is the result of long experience within the rug trade. He says: ‘By adopting the modernist’s perspective—one well informed by the past yet simultaneously willing to disregard that which is now far outmoded—we have the ability to sustainably advance carpetry.’
Reto Aschwanden is managing director of Label STEP, the fair-trade non-profit organisation based in Switzerland is committed to the wellbeing of weavers and workers in the handmade carpet industry. Believing in fair trade as a grass-roots instrument for social and economic development, he admires the handmade rug industry for its creativity, history and cultural significance. Reto joined Label STEP in 2005 and regularly travels to Afghanistan, India, Iran, Nepal and Pakistan to meet producers, workers and weavers. ‘For this industry to thrive,’ he says, ‘not only today but also in the future, it must meet the needs of all people involved.’