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Education and Health for Carpet Knotting Families

01.07.2021 | Bas Hartman, Kwantum, Netherlands

For the 25th anniversary of Care & Fair, Carpet! Magazine introduces some of the organisation’s important supporters and donors to our readers. This time we talk to Bas Hartman, Buyer at the Dutch home furnishings discount chain Kwantum (Home Fashion Group) with over 100 stores in the Netherlands and Belgium. Kwantum has been a member of Care & Fair since 1999.

Carpet! Magazine:
At what points in your business does Corporate Social Responsibility come into the picture?

Bas Hartman:
In general we at Kwantum realise that we are part of society and we therefore have the responsibility to act as such. We are focussing more and more on how we can lower our footprint by for example minimising the use of plastic packaging of our products. We only work with rug vendors who are members of Care & Fair, and our products are produced under the right social circumstances, which we make certain by working with vendors who comply with internationally acknowledged social compliance standards (BSCI, Sedex or SA8000); we think that this is very important.

Carpet! Magazine:
You have a long-term cooperation with the aid organisation Care & Fair. What convinced you to support this organisation?

Bas Hartman:
Many years ago, even before my time (I have worked with Kwantum since 2016), when we started to import directly from India, we already noticed the importance of supporting the weavers’ families with good healthcare and education. It only takes us a little effort, and we benefit from the direct import, so we give them some support back as a thank you.

Carpet! Magazine:
In what ways have you been supporting Care & Fair, and how has the cooperation influenced your business?

Bas Hartman:
We donate a certain percentage of the annual amount we spend on buying rugs to Care & Fair – not to a special project, but we trust Care & Fair to allocate the funds wherever needed. All our rug vendors must be members of Care & Fair, too, and also donate a certain percentage of their annual export value to Care & Fair. We use Care & Fair stickers on the backs of all our rugs to inform our customers about the good work of the Care and Fair foundation.

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