09 May 2016

Getting our undies in a twist for fair trade

This fair trade fortnight RMIT staff and students are raising awareness of fair fashion and supporting fair trade as a contribution to the fight against poverty and exploitation, climate change and economic crises.

Diploma of Textile Design and Development students have been encouraged to look further than economics as a measure of success and become agents of change through their designs. They have developed funky underwear designs for the first printed underwear range of one of Australia’s most ethical brands, Etiko, which will be featured in a Fair Trade Fortnight display on 17 May on Brunswick campus.

“Since studying at RMIT I have developed an increasing awareness of how my decisions as a designer can be an integral part of creating change in people’s lives, here and in developing countries.

Fair Trade not only demands a fair price paid for work, but also provides better living standards for the very communities I might be working with in the future. Everybody deserves respect and decent living standards including health and education”, says Alison, student of Diploma of Textile Design and Development.

Staff and students are proud to be able to support the work of Etiko as they recognise the importance of having ethical and fair trade businesses in Australia who actively help people feel good about what they’re wearing.

Bachelor of Photography students have creatively used photography and animation to draw on both the design and ethical principles driving their client organisations, Etiko and The Fabric Social, an organisation producing conscious clothing made by women affected by armed conflict.

Next week you too can get on board and show your support for a fairer and sustainable world. Fair Trade Fortnight from 9 – 22 May 2016 is an annual global festival which celebrates Fair Trade as a tangible contribution to the fight against poverty and exploitation, climate change and the economic crises that have the greatest impact on the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Celebrate with us by taking part in our fair trade events held on each campus during the fortnight. More specifically, join us on 17 May at the Brunswick campus in building 514 to check out all of the underwear designs and vote for the people’s choice with the winner receiving fair trade goodies.

You can also do your bit by getting your ethical morning coffee fix from a number of cafes on campus who serve fairtrade coffee, as well as wearing ethical clothing with pride with the organic, fairtrade RMIT merchandise available at the Campus store. If you wish to take it further and follow in the footsteps of other students and undertake a practical fair trade or sustainability-related project or placement with fair trade organisation, get in touch with our Fair Trade team at fairtrade@rmit.edu.au.

To learn more about RMIT being a Fair Trade University, go to Fair Trade at RMIT.

Written by student Melaine Lazelle

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