The Fairtrade Cotton Ambassadors – 7

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How better to end our blog series of Fairtrade cotton Ambassadors than with someone who has rapidly and very recently become a very bold champion of Fairtrade cotton!

This Fairtrade Cotton Ambassador’s name is Justine Baldwin. Justine, with the support of

Justine Baldwin is seen here with Ethan Humphreys and Betsy Mills-Hogg, both 7 years old and both wearing their new Fairtrade school uniform!

her local County Council, has had the vision and the gumption to make a massive statement in support of Fairtrade. As the Headteacher of the new Welshpool Church in Wales Primary School in Powys, Justine has decided that Fairtrade uniform can be worn from the start of the new school in September 2017.

It is amazing to think that our live friendship with Justine and the Welshpool community only started in April! On 18 April 2017 Justine sent us an e-mail as follows: “Hi Andy, We are hoping to gain FT status soon and would love it if you could come to school to do an Assembly sometime in the summer term. Please get in touch if this is a possibility. Justine”

A conversation started, and the meeting of Fairtrade minds very quickly resulted in a Koolskools visit to Welshpool in May. Koolskools ran Assemblies and classes at 3 of the merging schools – Gungrog, Maesydre and Oldford – and hopefully gave the new Welshpool CIW Primary students a real sense of how their new uniform would impact positively on the lives of economically challenged cotton farmers and factory workers in developing countries.

Justine enjoys the full backing of her new school Governors in introducing the new Fairtrade uniform. Together they have shown that you can act locally but think globally, and what an inspiring ethos to set for the new school’s students.

Justine’s Fairtrade initiative has also enjoyed terrific support from Fair Trade Wales, who issued a press release recently about the new Fairtrade uniform at Welshpool. Justine was quoted as follows: “I am delighted that our new school will be supporting Fairtrade in such a practical and comprehensive way, and that our Governing Body have been so supportive of this initiative. Once the Governors saw that the Fairtrade uniform offered excellent quality and value for money, the decision was an easy one.

Soon to be Welshpool CIW Primary School pupils learning about their new Fairtrade uniforms.

“I hope that the parents and carers will value the stance we are taking to show our pupils how important it is to have awareness of ethical trading and how our actions here in Wales can impact on others’ lives across the world.”

Powys County Council Portfolio Holder for Schools, County Cllr Myfanwy Alexander commented: “I commend the whole school community at Welshpool Church in Wales Primary School for this laudable decision, which demonstrates the school’s values extending into every corner of their activity. I would be delighted to see other Powys schools will follow their lead.”

Koolskools has been busy despatching orders for the new school garments over the past few weeks, and we look forward to monitoring how the new Fairtrade uniform is received in the new school community.

To the best of our knowledge, Welshpool CIW Primary is very the first new school to introduce Fairtrade logo’ed uniform on an exclusive basis. The magnitude and wider impact of this decision on Justine’s part cannot be underestimated, and on behalf of our factory workers and cotton farmers we should like to say a big THANK YOU to Justine and the Welshpool CIW Primary Governors.

 Andy

25 July 2017

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