Is it many months since our last blog! Well, no excuses, the launch of our new website in the Spring heralded a very exciting and extremely busy period for Koolskools, and blog writing has had to take a bit of a back seat. We called in our last blog for more schools to buy into Fairtrade cotton school uniform, and we are pleased to say that the call has been heard.
The new Koolskools stock-holding/online ordering model has bedded down really quickly in tandem with our new embroidery operation in the shop in Southampton. The state-of-the-art embroidery machines have been very busy servicing the increasing number of schools engaging with Koolskools and wanting to offer their students and parents a truly ethical clothing choice. We should like to thank all of those ethically minded school teachers, students and parents that have not only embraced the traditional quality of Koolskools garments, but have also understood the wider global citizenship value to their respective school communities of engaging with Fairtrade uniform.
Our new stock-holding model has enabled us to respond much more quickly and flexibly to schools wanting to dip their toes in the Fairtrade cotton uniform water. For example, Hillpark Secondary School in Glasgow, our first client school in the City, were not able to make the switch to Fairtrade school uniform but, as a strong Fairtrade school, their Fairtrade Group were determined to introduce some Fairtrade cotton somewhere. So we supplied their French Department with 50 of our lovely thick, soft-feel hoodies made with Fairtrade cotton for their June 2016 Paris trip. This initiative seems to have contributed to Hillpark gaining the prestigious “Scottish School of Co-operation” award from the Co-Operative Education Trust Scotland. You can read more about this here.
Meanwhile, on the East side of Scotland, St Mary’s (Leith) RC Primary school in Edinburgh showed just how quick and easy it is to embrace Fairtrade uniform under the new Koolskools model. St Mary’s students attended the excellent Scottish Fair Trade Forum Fairtrade schools Conference on 29 September where our factory manager, Viswaraj, joined the Koolskools work-shops. Together with Viswaraj we did an impromptu Assembly at the school the following day, and within a matter of weeks we had sampled their logo and were selling Fairtrade uniform to their parents.
We have visited many Welsh schools over the years to conduct Fairtrade education, and enjoyed terrific levels of support from Fair Trade Wales in so doing. So we are pleased to report that those hard miles and that sustained Fair Trade Wales support are really beginning to pay dividends as new schools come on board in the wake of the launch of the new Koolskools online ordering model. Next stop a visit to North Wales in January!
Thumbs up from students at St Bernadette’s RC and St Monica’s CIW Primaries, Koolskools first two client Primaries in Cardiff, following recent Koolskools Assemblies:
Please excuse the pun, but we are delighted that English schools have also really been “cottoning on” to Fairtrade clothing. For example, Imberhorne School in West Sussex, who have embraced Koolskools Fairtrade Leavers’ hoodies in 2016, are one of only two winning schools in the annual Fairtrade Fortnight Schools Awards run by the Fairtrade Foundation. Imberhorne invited us to run class sessions at the school during Fairtrade Fortnight 2016, to which we brought along one of our factory workers, Pamela Intelligent, to tell her unique story of a life in sweatshop factories in Mauritius before finding Fairtrade.
NEW KOOLSKOOLS AMBASSADORS
In our first blog of the New Year, we shall be telling our readers all about the fantastic work two of our client schools have been doing in acting as Ambassadors for Fairtrade cotton school uniforms in their respective areas – Moorside Primary School in Lancaster, and Currie High School in Edinburgh. Both schools have attended big schools Conferences this year and pro-actively advocated for Fairtrade cotton uniform, with their inspirational teachers spurring them on!
On behalf of the cotton farmers and factory workers we should like to thank Moorside, Currie High and all of our other client schools for supporting Koolskools and engaging with Fairtrade uniform – you really have made a positive difference in the developing world.
So, come on all you other Fairtrade schools and dip your toes in the Fairtrade cotton water please!