Ten Thousand Villages, a nonprofit, fair trade store in the downtown Iowa City Ped Mall, will be financially empowering Pakistani women by hosting the 4th Annual Fair Trade Oriental Rug Event October 7-11 at the Iowa River Landing. Approximately 300 rugs, each handmade in Pakistani homes by fairly paid adult artisans, will be available to purchase in a variety of unique designs and sizes ranging from 2’ x 3’ to 10’ x 14’ rugs, plus runners.
“When you purchase a rug through Ten Thousand Villages, you not only invest in a beautiful piece of functional art, but you are also supporting lives, culture, and education in Pakistan, especially during the pandemic,” says Joani Miller, Interim Executive Director of Ten Thousand Villages Iowa City.
The Fair Trade Rug Event is a partnership between Ten Thousand Villages and Bunyaad, a fair trade artisan group in Pakistan. Bunyaad means “foundation” in Urdu. Bunyaad Rugs provides a foundation for women by paying them a living wage to knot heirloom, quality rugs on looms set in their homes. Women can work around their other household chores, like caring for children, preparing meals, and tending their home. Work on the looms gives women year-round stable employment. With this income, women have found increased financial independence and can financially contribute to the success of their family. They are able to send their children to school and plan for the future. Having a wage-earning skill gives these women a sense of pride as well as an avenue to true social change for themselves and their family.
Rugs will be displayed at Iowa River Landing, 920 E. 2nd Ave, Ste. 110, Coralville. See the rich colors, unique designs, and learn more about the rugs from Yousaf Chaman, director of Bunyaad, will be available in person during the Rug Event hours October 7-11, Wednesday-Saturday 10 AM – 7 PM, Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM. Safety measures will be in place and visitors are asked to wear a mask and social distance.
For more information, see the 4th Annual Rug Event Website.