This is the second in our series of blogs on some of our brilliant Fairtrade cotton Ambassadors.
This week we are focussing on the Fairtrade advocacy efforts of teachers and students at Currie Community High School (CCHS) in Edinburgh. We were first introduced to Alison Nind, a teacher at CCHS, by Rachel Farey of the One World Shop in Edinburgh. Rachel is also Chair of the dynamic Edinburgh Fairtrade City Group.
During Fairtrade Fortnight 2016, we took our Fairtrade-licensed Mauritius factory’s inspirational
seamstress, Pamela Intelligent, to CCHS. Alison made it possible for Pamela to talk to CCHS teachers and students about her tough life in the clothing industry in Mauritius before she found Fairtrade.
Doreen MacKinnon, Headteacher at CCHS, immediately saw the wider benefits to the school community of engaging with Fairtrade school uniform, and pledged her support there and then to the idea of the school switching to Fairtrade cotton uniform in 2017.
But the CCHS interest and involvement did not stop there. We returned to CCHS last September with our Fairtrade-licensed factory manager, Vishwaraj. The CCHS students were again fortunate to hear another real-life global clothing industry story. This time it was the turn of Pamela’s boss, Vishwaraj, to hold the CCHS students spell-bound as he shared his experiences as a junior and middle manager working in “sweatshop” clothing factories in Madagascar. Vishwaraj became disillusioned with the inhumane treatment meted out to the workers by the factory managers, and returned to Mauritius where he discovered Fairtrade, whn he said “it changed my life”.
So Koolskools and their cotton farmers and factory workers have a lot to be grateful to CCHS for. CCHS students, of their own initiative, were so inspired by what they heard about our ethical clothing chain that they decided to run an awareness-raising campaign about the global citizenship benefits of engaging
with Fairtrade school uniform. They first did this by running a stand at the Scotland/Malawi Partnership in November 2016 where they advocated for Fairtrade uniform to participating schools from all around Scotland. They are also advocating for Fairtrade uniform with other schools in their neighbourhood and further afield.
Well done Currie Community High School, thank you, and keep up the good work!
31 January 2017