The third in our latest blog series on Cities, Counties and Towns embracing Fairtrade cotton uniforms takes us back to Scotland, our fastest growing market.
Down the East Coast from Aberdeen lies Carnoustie, the home of one of the most famous Scottish links golf courses.
Carnoustie is also home to Mrs Morag Oldham. Morag, herself a budding golfer, is also a thoroughly committed, Fairtrade-friendly teacher who has been quietly and effectively lobbying for Fairtrade school uniform for several years.
Carlogie Primary, Carnoustie
It was in Morag’s role as supervising teacher of “Fairlogie”, a Carlogie Primary School Fairtrade Enterprise run by Morag and her Fairtrade Group students, that we first had contact with her in 2012/13.
At that point the school’s sole supplier was one of the big supermarkets, with which Fairtrade uniform could not really compete on price. However, a couple of Fairtrade educational visits by Koolskools and the school’s parallel sampling of our garments resulted in the Fairtrade uniform being given a chance within the school, and we received our first small orders in 2013/14.
Fast-forward 5 years and the orders are still coming in, but larger each time as the Carlogie Primary community has embraced our project, and parents have cottoned on to the quality and value-for-money dimension to our Fairtrade clothes.
Grange Primary, Monifieth
Early in 2018, Morag moved down the road to Grange Primary, Monifieth. Morag kindly managed to tee-up several local schools for a Koolskools early June 2018 Fairtrade educational visit to Carnoustie, as part of a Scotland tour.
Thanks to Morag, we took in local Primary schools Seaview, Carlogie, Woodlands and Grange. Seaview and Woodlands have both expressed interest in Fairtrade school uniform as the result and Grange Primary, Morag’s new school, have already placed their first order for Fairtrade polos.
Carlogie Primary is clearly a fertile breeding ground for Fairtrade-friendly teachers! Before the June 2018 Koolskools Scotland tour Morag put Andy in touch again with Jillian Geddes. An ex-Carlogie Primary teacher, Jillian had previously hosted one of Andy’s Koolskools Fairtrade class sessions there, and enthusiastically embraced the first ever Koolskools visit to Arbroath Academy during the June tour.
Although it is early days, we are hopeful that this nascent relationship with one of the big Secondary schools in the area will cement itself in the coming weeks and months and flourish, with some positive prospects for Fairtrade uniform at the school over time.
So, from humble beginnings at Carlogie Primary a few years ago, Fairtrade uniform is now on the march in this beautiful part of Scotland’s East Coast, mainly thanks to people like Morag and Jillian who are prepared to stick their necks out for Fairtrade cotton!