UK: Back to school in Fairtrade cotton
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
The Fairtrade Foundation’s initiative Step Back to School in Fairtrade Cotton is getting children and young people in UK schools to learn about unfair trade in cotton production by thinking about how their uniforms are made and the impact their choice of clothes makes on the lives of the people who produce the raw materials, the Fairtrade Foundation reports. As part of the initiative, pupils are being asked to design the school uniform of the future using Fairtrade cotton with the winning design being made up by a retailer. The 5,000 UK schools taking part will hold dedicated assemblies, fun activities and exhibitions about Fairtrade cotton to flag up their support for the initiative.
To help illustrate the story of cotton, a special mixed media animated film has been created showing the story of cotton and why Fairtrade is important. The film is available to download from www.fairtrade.org.uk/uniform. Six downloadable activity sheets for children will also be available from the website along with cotton themed games, crafts and drawing activities. (Picture by Trevor Leighton: African cotton farmer)
Selling their cotton on Fairtrade terms is one of the few opportunities available to cotton farmers in the developing world to be able to work their way out of poverty. In the UK, £1 billion is spent per year on school uniforms, but currently only a tiny percentage of this is Fairtrade. Every Fairtrade cotton school uniform bought by families in the UK represents real benefits such as schools, books, clean drinking water and health clinics for poor cotton farmers who often can’t afford to send their own children to school.
Step Back to School in Fairtrade Cotton forms part of the Fairtrade Foundation’s ‘Take a Step' campaign, and to encourage people to register their Fairtrade cotton steps, the Fairtrade Foundation is giving away 50 goodie bags with lots of Fairtrade products from Fair Naturally, Original Source, Essential Care, Divine Chocolate, Clipper Tea, Lush and Origin Wine. Fairtrade cotton school uniforms can be bought from Marks &Spencer, Tesco, online and from dedicated uniform suppliers in the UK. A list of Fairtrade cotton school uniform stockists is available here.
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