In the UK we spend £1 billion a year on school uniform, currently only a small percentage of that is fair trade. The Fairtrade Foundation’s initiative Step Back to School in Fairtrade Cotton  is helping to raise awareness about Fairtrade cotton, how school uniforms are made and the impact our everyday choice of clothes makes on the lives of the people who produce the raw materials.

Selling their cotton on fairtrade terms is one of the only ways for farmers in the developing worlds to be able to work their way out of poverty. Buying fairtrade can make a real difference to peoples lives. Buying fairtrade uniforms represents real benefits for children in developing countries, like schools, clean drinking water, books and health. So when you kit your child out you could be changing another child’s life, thats something I consider a no brainer.

The way I see it buying fairtrade sends a real message to retailers that this is what we want. Sure you can get a super cheap uniform and in the short term keep your bank balance healthier. Buy a fairtrade uniform and you keep the world healthier, what do you think is more important ? I know what message I want to send.

As a thank you to mums and dads who have bought Fairtrade school uniforms, The Fairtrade Foundation are also giving away 50 fabulous ‘school holiday survival kit’ goodie bags with lots of Fairtrade products from Fair Naturally, Original Source, Essential Care, Divine Chocolate, Clipper Tea, Lush and Origin Wine. To enter the giveaway, go here and add your Fairtrade ‘step’ online – 50 winners will be picked at random on 13 August, good luck!

Fairtrade uniforms are available from Marks & Spencer, Tesco and online. For a complete list of stockists go to www.fairtrade.org.uk/uniform.

To help illustrate the story of cotton and why fairtrade is important The Fairtrade Foundation have created the following video, click on the link ;

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