Become a Certified STEP Fair Trade Partner

Why Become STEP Certified?

Rewarding: Good for business, good for weavers

STEP certification stands for compliance with the industry’s leading fair trade standard. It not only benefits workers but also opens new markets and adds communication and promotional opportunities for dealers (importers, wholesalers, designers and retailers) who become Certified STEP Partners.

Effective: Fair trade works

Fair trade working conditions and satisfied weavers have a positive effect on product quality. STEP monitors the carpet production sites of its Certified Partners and actively supports producers, weavers and workers to improve their situation.

Insightful: Eyes and hands on the ground

STEP builds networks and trusted relationships with producers and weavers. These relationships, in combination with regular production audits and updates, allow STEP Certified Fair Trade Partners to stay abreast of operations, developments and opportunities from afar.

Ethical: The right thing to do

Teaming up with STEP is motivating for business leaders, staff and customers alike. In addition to being able to acquire beautiful handmade carpets, it feels good to positively affect the lives of those responsible for crafting beautiful products others.

Fair trade in handmade carpets future-proofs businesses, supply chains and the industry at large. But most importantly, it improves the wellbeing of weavers and workers who make the industry viable.

“Label STEP makes sure the people who produce our rugs are fairly treated. This matters to us and our clients.”

—Carol Sebert, Partner, Creative Matters, Certified STEP Partner

Advantages of a STEP Certification

Handmade carpet dealers who join Label STEP as Certified Fair Trade Partners can proudly display their commitment to fair trade by including the STEP logo on their carpet labels. But STEP goes beyond simple labelling. It acknowledges participating companies for their comprehensive commitment to fair trade by delivering the following benefits: 

  • regular, detailed updates on production audits, conditions and advancements in their supply chain
  • promotion on the STEP website
  • use of the official logo and marketing tools
  • pride in doing the right thing: making a positive social impact, which matters to both company employees and customers alike

How to Partner with Us

Retailers, wholesalers and importers of carpets from the major handmade carpet-producing countries STEP monitors are eligible to become Certified STEP Fair Trade Partners.

Partnering with STEP starts with a conversation. The first step is learning more about your business and its ambitions. Once we have a better idea of what you’re hoping to achieve, STEP will share how our reasonable cost-based fees support fair trade oversights and Weaver Empowerment programs that will benefit your producers and your unique business goals.

Become a STEP Certified Fair Trade Partner and join a community of retailers, wholesalers, importers working together to effect positive changes within the handmade carpet industry – ensuring its sustainability for years to come.

Get the STEP Label

To become a Certified STEP Fair Trade Partner, contact Managing Director, Reto Aschwanden:

To learn more, visit the STEP Partner FAQ or Contact Us.