Seton Hill students raise awareness for ethical trade

Nov. 20-21 students of the Writing in Public Relations course hosted an ethical trade market. Items sold at the marketplace were all handmade and from around the globe. The students hosted the sale in Maura Solarium and near Lowe Dining Hall. Photo by M.Fitzpatrick/Setonian.

“Fair trade is a movement that puts people and the environment first,” said Hannah Long, senior hospitality and tourism major. “It does a lot of things to provide safe working conditions, pay fair and livable wages to employees, and give families hope for a better future.” 

Nov. 20-21, Jen Jones’ writing in public relations class hosted a fair trade marketplace.

 They sold items from a company called Ten Thousand Villages and encouraged people to shop with intention while making purchases through this initiative. 

The Ten Thousand Villages sale has become a yearly event hosted on campus by the writing in public relations class. Some of the products that were sold this year included hats, teas, mugs, coffees, gloves, jewelry and wallets. 

The mission of Ten Thousand Villages reads, “We’re a global maker-to-market movement that breaks the cycle of generational poverty and ignites social change,” according to tenthousandvillages.com.

This brand also promotes the hashtag “#LiveLifeFair” to encourage individuals and consumers to engage in their support of fair trade through social media. 

Fair trade directly aims to provide aid to families working in developing countries. The fair trade process ensures that all individuals affected by a company’s production system are treated with equal respect and standards. Some brands that support the ethical practice of fair trade include Alta Gracia, Starbucks, Patagonia, Ben and Jerry’s and Ten Thousand Villages. 

Seton Hill students can make their own impact in the fair trade movement simply by visiting the bookstore on campus. 

“In the bookstore, students can find a t-shirt made by Alta Gracia. It’s a plain shirt which says ‘Seton Hill’ and is rolled up on its display,” Long said. 

The bookstore also sells Divine Chocolate, so students can enjoy a tasty treat while supporting fair trade as well. 

“The Seton Hill community should care about fair trade because it impacts so many other peoples’ lives. As a Setonian, it’s important for us to ensure that other people are being treated fairly and being given the same opportunities and advantages that we are,” Long said. 

This movement affects many farmers, families, investors and businesses across the globe and the first steps to making a difference begins with spreading awareness and taking personal initiative. 

Published by Caitlin Srager

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