Welcome to our latest blog series on Fairtrade cotton!
Over the next few months, we will be looking at the Cities, Counties and towns in the UK whose schools have really started to embrace Fairtrade cotton school uniform.
From Southampton to Edinburgh to Lancaster to Welshpool, Fairtrade school uniform is on the march. Fairtrade-friendly teachers and students are leading the way. Local Fairtrade supporters’ groups can often be the catalyst, and it is great to note that parents are more inclined these days to look for a Fairtrade uniform choice.
The first area to feature in our series is Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. 3 years ago, there was no Fairtrade school uniform in the area. It all started with an event run by Aberdeen Fairtrade, in conjunction with the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, during Fairtrade Fortnight 2015.
Our wonderful factory seamstress, Pamela Intelligent, gave a moving address at the February 2015 event about her life story working in “sweatshop” factories before she found Fairtrade. Amongst other schools attending were St Joseph’s PC Primary School.
A couple of months later St Joseph’s, a very strong Fairtrade school, took the plunge and submitted their first order for Fairtrade uniform to Koolskools, and the rest is history as they say!
From those modest beginnings, the Koolskools Fairtrade cotton relationship with Aberdeen has really gained momentum. Many other schools in the City have followed the St Joseph’s lead and embraced Fairtrade uniform. In 2017 our first school in Aberdeenshire, Fyvie Primary, decided to offer
their parents an online Fairtrade uniform choice.
Peter Hutchinson from North Link Ferries, a socially responsible company that has shown consistent support for Fairtrade, was at the Fairtrade Aberdeen Fairtrade Fortnight 2015 event. We were delighted that North Link Ferries came on board (!) with our Fairtrade polos a few months later, and we continue to supply many hundreds of them to North Link Ferries annually.
Talking of coming on board, our great friends from the Montgomery Development Education Centre /Aberdeen for a Fairer World organised a memorable Aberdeen/Aberdeenshire Fairtrade schools event on board a North Link Ferry in October last year. The event was kindly hosted by our friends at North Link Ferries.
In addition to tours of the ferry, the participating students also had the opportunity to learn all about the Koolskools Fairtrade clothing chain from the horse’s mouth so to speak! They heard a fascinating presentation from our factory manager, Vishwaraj, all about his life as a manager in the clothing industry before and after finding Fairtrade.