Reto Aschwanden

Managing Director, Label STEP

Reto Aschwanden from Switzerland is Managing Director of Label STEP, the international organization for fair trade in handmade carpets. 

He believes in fair trade as a grass roots instrument for social and economic development and admires the handmade rug industry for its creativity, history and cultural significance. 

After studies in social sciences at University of Fribourg, Switzerland, Reto worked as a freelance journalist for many of the country's main newspapers.

Before joining STEP, he worked in communications for an IT computer retailer, his former university’s faculty of law and at the Swiss Government’s Federal Department of Justice. 

Reto joined Label STEP in 2005 and regularly travels to Afghanistan, India, Iran, Nepal and Pakistan to meet personally with producers, workers and weavers.