Earlier this week, we welcomed Koolskools, an ethical school uniform supplier to North Wales to speak to schools about switching their school uniforms to Fairtrade.
During their visit to North Wales, Koolskools visited Ysgol y Creuddyn in Llandudno and Ysgol Esgob Morgan in St Asaph, with a number of local schools attending to learn more about Fairtrade school uniforms. Koolskools brought the Managing Director of a Fairtrade licensed factory in Mauritius where the Fairtrade and organic uniforms are made for their visits, Viswaraj Maghoo.
He spoke to pupils about the impacts of Fairtrade for the people who work there. He said: “The factory provides vital employment and training for underprivileged people in Mauritius. Paying a fair price for the clothing is essential in securing improved quality of life for the long-term future of workers.”
Numerous schools in Wales have made the switch to Fairtrade school uniforms, including Cathays High School in Cardiff and most recently the newly opened Welshpool Church in Wales Primary School in Powys. Pupils from Welshpool joined the school conference in St Asaph to share their experiences of choosing a Fairtrade school uniform with their peers.
They spoke about how fairness is very important to them; from being fair with their classmates, to being fair to the people who make their school uniforms. They said they were very happy with their new Fairtrade uniform, particularly how warm they are, and how great the pockets on their cardigans are!
An estimated 40 million small farmers, who are some of the poorest in the world, produce over 60 per cent of the world’s cotton. Fairtrade cotton was launched to put the spotlight on these farmers who are often left invisible, neglected and poor at the end of a long and complex cotton supply chain.
We think visits like these are incredibly important (and teachers agree with us), as they provide a wonderful opportunity for young people in Wales to learn about where and how cotton is grown, the effort that goes into making school uniforms and understanding that what we buy has an impact on other communities across the world. Mr. Richard Hatwood of Ysgol Esgob Morgan said: “We were really proud to welcome Viswaraj to St Asaph, and provide an opportunity for local students to hear about the impact that something like our choice of school uniform can have on communities across the world. We hope to introduce Fairtrade uniforms to Ysgol Esgob Morgan, a Fairtrade school in the near future.”
If you would like your local school to consider using ethically made uniforms, then get in touch with the team at Fair Trade Wales, or the team at KoolSkools – we’re all happy to help.