“Those who stand for nothing fall for everything” ~ Alexander Hamilton. At Gilmour Academy, we are called to have the competence to see and courage to act in creating a more humane and just society. We are called to stand for something.
Students directly participate in this mission during their junior year, when they partake in Praxis, a social-justice based initiative. This year, my Praxis group (Isabella Martin, Lea Morrissette, Hunter Fetterolf, Kyle Laws and Ayrin Hajrullahi) is tackling the injustice of the inhumane work place.
As we began to do extensive research on what encapsulates this injustice, we discovered Fair Trade.
What is Fair Trade?
Fairtrade America states that Fair Trade is “a way of doing shopping and business differently. It changes the way trade works by prioritizing better prices, decent working conditions and a fairer deal for farmers and workers in the Global South.”
Fair Trade is much more than an organization, it is a movement and we truly hope that after reading this article, you will join the movement as well!
Why Fair Trade?
There are more than a million reasons why we should support fair trade brands and why we should simply care. Quite possibly, one of the most powerful and important reasons to note is because we should. Our actions don’t just affect us; they affect everyone. When we choose to buy from brands that utilize sweatshops, we hurt other people. Aeropostale, Adidas, ASOS, Disney, Nike, Victoria’s Secret, Urban Outfitters, to name a few, are brands that are believed to be using sweatshops (1). We know these brands; we use these brands; and we have the power to change these brands.
Undoubtedly, the solution to the injustice of unjust wages and working conditions is multifaceted. As there are many factors that go into the formation of the injustice, there are also several factors that go into solving this injustice. When Mr. Ric Doringo, Instructor in Social Studies, was interviewed for the “Behind the Swoosh” exposé, he gave his opinion on what he feels is the “perfect” solution.
Mr. Doringo said, “The only way things like this will really change is if we (meaning the entire Western world – North America, Europe, etc.) change our consumer habits. Nike [for example] is driven by profits, and they know they can rely on Western consumers to buy their products, regardless of how they make them.”
The Western World must demand change and that change begins with what they choose to buy and what they choose to support.
What is Gilmour Doing to Help?
This year, our Praxis Group, with the help of Dr. Linda Monitello, Instructor in Theology, has created a Fair Trade week, including everyone at Gilmour Academy. Fair Trade week will be occurring from May 3 through May 7, 2021.
Look to the information below for some more details about Fair Trade Week!