Buy unique holiday gifts, support fair trade principles

Handcrafted products from more than 40 countries will be available at IU’s eighth annual Fair Trade Holiday Sale, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Nov. 29 and 30 in the Frangipani Room at the Indiana Memorial Union.

Fair Trade holiday sale

Unique fair trade items are available for sale at the annual holiday market.

The sale is a part of the Fair Trade Bloomington project, a nonprofit collaboration between community and campus created by IU’s Enactus student organization, formerly known as Students in Free Enterprise or SIFE. Since 2005, the project has sold more than $70,000 in fair trade products on campus in an effort to increase support and awareness of enterprises that build sustainable businesses in the developing world.

The sale features unique artisan-crafted cultural products such as jewelry, holiday ornaments, baskets, woolens, decorative items, textiles, toys and other items. It will also include items from the Indianapolis-based The Village Experience, a socially proactive business that sells fair trade products produced by artisan groups visited during international trips.

IU’s Enactus formed Fair Trade Bloomington to help educate both campus and community alike about contributing to global economic development and poverty relief through promotion of products that adhere to fair trade principles, such as paying workers fair prices for their goods, paying them in advance for goods, maintaining orders, monitoring working conditions, empowering women and using environmentally sound practices.

The organization’s activities are supported by the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design, part of the College of Arts and Sciences. The group is led by faculty members Mary Embry and Ashley Hasty.

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