The Spanish rug designer has been visiting India regularly since the early 1990s, when she moved her production there in an effort to create rugs that felt less like mass-produced objects and more like handcrafted works of art.
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Of course, as any responsible and informed person knows, there's a great threat of exploitation when it comes to a first-world company working with communities that both specialize in handicraft and suffer from economic hardship. So Marqina teamed up with Care & Fair, a German nonprofit that seeks to end child labor practices and secure the rights of people that work in the rug trade in India, Pakistan, and Nepal. Together they launched a design competition for students, and the winning design, Kala, went into production.
The rug quickly became popular, and with a portion of the proceeds, Marquina funneled $30,000 to reopen the Amita Vidyalaya school in Bhadohi, an area known as India's "Carpet City".
Kala, which means both 'art' and 'morning' is a bold, geometric work that references the quick designs that are commonly drawn just outside villager's front doorways each morning.
We tip our hat to Nani.