The “Beast from the East” foreshortened Andy and Mike’s traditionally frenetic Koolskools Fairtrade Fortnight tour to all parts of Britain!
Despite the snow we came through it. Mike and Andy still managed to visit some great new potential client schools – from Barry in South Wales, to Blackburn in the North of England, to Port Glasgow on the West Coast of Scotland.
We do these Fairtrade educational tours because we genuinely love to spread the word about the plight of Fairtrade cotton farmers and the often exploited and forgotten developing country clothing factory workers. We also love teaching school children to think about how and where their clothes are made…they don’t land in clothes shops by magic!!
Koolskools awarded “Best Fairtrade Retailer” in the South West!
Despite Mike breaking down on the M4 on the last day of Fairtrade Fortnight, and Andy being snow-bound for 4 days in Fife, Koolskools managed to come out smelling of Fairtrade roses!! As poor Mike was waiting for the AA to come and rescue him and his car from the hard shoulder of the M4 on Friday 9
March, Andy was literally hot-footing it past him from a Fairtrade Assembly at Jenner Park Primary School in Barry to the New Bristol Brewery, where Koolskools won the Best Fairtrade Retailer (Single Product) in the South West!! Koolskools has a long and successful association with the brilliant annual South West Fairtrade Business Awards, and these things mean so much to the Koolskools team and our Fairtrade supply chain.
“Unravelling the Thread”
This is the title of the Fairtrade Foundation’s new film about Fairtrade cotton, the cotton farmers and their communities, and the new Fairtrade Textile Standard. Whilst the film has not yet been officially released, Koolskools and the Edinburgh Fair Trade City Group were privileged to be given an advance copy of the film by the Fairtrade Foundation just before Fairtrade Fortnight, so that we could show it at a special Fairtrade Schools Event at Currie High School in Edinburgh. You can read all about it in last month’s blog HERE.
The 12+ minute film is very impactful, and it chimes very strongly with the aims of the Fashion Revolution movement, namely to make the world think about the people in developing countries that farm the cotton and actually make our clothes. With Fashion Revolution Week at the end of April rapidly approaching, there is no better time for school students to start asking the question: “#WhoMadeMyClothes”?
Fairtrade Uniform Benefits from Parent Power!
On 22 January, Andy was beavering way in his Koolskools office and received a call from Emma White, a member of the Parent Council at Thomas Muir Primary (TMP) school in Bishopbriggs, Glasgow. This very far-sighted, empathetic and ethically-minded parent had recently asked her colleagues on the Parent Council whether they had ever considered an ethical school clothing option…and the rest is history as they say! Things moved very rapidly following that initial telephonic encounter. Andy sent Emma sample garments which were duly shown at the next TMP Parent Council meeting. They went down well! Koolskools are now offering TMP parents an online Fairtrade school polo option. Plans are afoot for Andy to spend a day doing Fairtrade education at the school at the end of May, and discussions are in play about the possibility
of extending the Fairtrade uniform range at the school. In the meantime, following a steer from the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, the Glasgow Sunday Herald (read the Sunday 4 March
interview here had interviewed Emma and Andy about the reasons behind the introduction of Koolskools Fairtrade school uniform at Thomas Muir.
The reason is simple: Parent Power and Enlightenment!