Saturday, 16 April 2011

Can you help sew together the final, record breaking line of cotton bunting for trade justice?

We know many of you have already got people painting, drawing and stitching their support onto bunting triangles and thank you. Next step is to sew all those beautiful triangles together to create a record breaking show of support for trade justice ….


Bunting for justice


For Fairtrade Fortnight 2011 the Fairtrade Foundation had a big focus on cotton as part of The Great Cotton Stitch-Up – our campaign calling on the EU to scrap its cotton subsidies. Cotton is the most used natural fibre in the world and should be the ‘white gold’ that propels ten million West African farmers out of poverty. But the West African cotton industry is obstructed by a wall of subsidies paid by the United States and European Union to their farmers. Combined, the US and EU have spent $32bn on their cotton farmers over the past nine years. The result is to dampen down cotton prices for West Africa farmers, with devastating effects. Read more here:


To draw attention to this issue, we invited our supporters to get involved in Bunting for Justice, ordering packs of Fairtrade cotton bunting triangles to decorate with Fairtrade and trade justice messages and return to us to be sewn together into a Guinness World Record breaking line of bunting. Thousands of people took part and we have been overwhelmed with the response – sack loads of beautifully decorated bunting are piling up in our offices and we are in the process of sorting through it to be sewn together.


We need your help!


This job is a lot bigger than we were expecting, and we really need volunteers to help with a number of tasks, including sorting the bunting flags, recording the senders and help with sewing the bunting lines (we have a room set up in our office with industrial sewing machines and all the equipment). We have 4 weeks to make this happen and we are confident we can do it, but the more pairs of hands we have to help, especially those with sewing experience, the longer our bunting will be!


If you can help, we would ask you to commit a minimum of half a day, we will pay travel expenses (and lunch in the form of vouchers if you can stay all day), and ply you with cups of tea and biscuits! The assembly of the bunting is taking place at our offices in Aldgate – details here: over the next 4 weeks. We hope to be doing this on weekend and bank holidays too, depending on peoples’ availability. The bunting will be displayed on World Fair Trade Day – Saturday 14 May, so our deadline is Thursday 12 May.


Please email with your details and time and dates you can commit.


Many thanks and all the best



Hannah Reed
Campaigns Manager (Fairtrade Towns)

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