Global Gifts, a nonprofit fair trade store committed to bettering the lives of artisans around the world, will be hosting a Fair Trade Oriental Rug event March 15-19, featuring Bunyaad rugs from Pakistan. More than three hundred rugs will be available for purchase in store, but for five days only, so be sure to mark your calendars!

These rugs are intricate, colorful works of art. The creation of these rugs helps preserve the cultural tradition of Pakistani artisans. They are hand-knotted and require intensive effort to create. The available rugs vary in size and color, featuring an array of designs, such as Bokhara, Tribal and Persian. Each rug is beautifully unique, some requiring over a year to create. Artisans may implement traditional dying techniques in the creation of their rugs, extracting colors from items such as fruit skins, dried flowers, and vegetable skins. Significant time and energy is required to create these natural dyes. In addition, artists must serve as apprentices before becoming master designers, proving their dedication and mastery of the craft. 

Because these rugs are produced in fair trade environments, the artisans that create them are paid fairly and work in ethical conditions. This work provides economic, social, and educational assistance in the villages where the rugs are made. The goal of the Bunyaad Rug Program is to bring social justice and hope to the underprivileged by providing them opportunities to earn fair wages and improve their social welfare. This program involves over eight hundred and fifty families from over one hundred villages. The organization strives to encourage creativity among its artisans by giving them full creative control of their designs. In addition, there are no quotas or deadlines that artisans have to meet when creating their rugs. Some artisans even choose to work at home, which increases the employment of women and gives workers flexibility in schedule.

If you are interested in seeing these rugs in person, the event begins Wednesday March 15 at 11am. In addition, on March 16 from 7pm-8pm, a seminar will take place in which guests can learn about the art of hand-knotting rugs, along with information regarding their care and upkeep. Admission is free and refreshments will be served!

For more information about Global Gifts, visit their page on the Short North website.


*photo credit:

-Alexa Demyan