We imagine a Fairtrade university or college to be a hub of social activism, driven by student change makers like you. As a student, you can turn your campus into a Fairtrade university by representing the values of the Fairtrade movement and raising awareness about issues of gender justice, social equality and environmental conservation among your peers.
Organise a slogan writing competition for your peers at college as part of Fairtrade weekend activities. To get the creative juices flowing, have a look at the Fairtrade Power of You campaigns. Then, get the participants to think of slogans that empower the consumer to make a difference. Display the best ones in your college foyer/noticeboard and post them on our Facebook and Twitter pages .
Shoot a Phone Film
Given the ubiquity on smartphones on campus, it’s a good idea to get your peers to shoot a short film on their phones. As with the art competition, give them a theme a week before Fairtrade Weekend. They can walk the streets, interview people about their knowledge of where their food and clothes come from, hold a discussion about farming issues, film a dance or a play, the sky’s the limit. Screen the best films for your class on the day of the event.
Cook with Fairtrade Products
There’s a range of Fairtrade-certified products that you could rustle up to set up your own cooking studio for the class. Bake a fresh batch of Fairtrade cookies, brownies or cakes with your class as a group or individual activity. Write to us for recipe ideas and visit for a list of available ingredients. Send us your recipe with photos and we would love to feature you on our Facebook page.
Sell Fairtrade products
Set up a stall to sell Fairtrade products on campus, and possibly even give out a few samples of little cups of Fairtrade tea to pique the interest of students passing the stall.
Power of You Photo Booth
The photo booth idea’s been a big hit at music festivals and could work well at your event. Designate a quiet space in a centrally-located part of your campus. Set up a table with the Power of You Placards and a camera. Ask students to pose at the photo booth holding the placards. Upload and hashtag these images to your Fairtrade Weekend social media page to create more buzz. You can download and print the placards here .
Write to Brands
Want your favourite brand to go Fairtrade? Write to us and we will send you a stack of cards which are friendly letters to brands asking them to go Fairtrade. Ask the clothing brand to clean up their supply chain. Remember, the power to bring about change begins with you: the consumer. Collect and send the letters back to us, and we will send them on to the brands.
Find a group of classmates with a shared interest in theatre and dramatics and script your own play. To begin with, read up extensively on the growing agrarian crisis, and the various factors that have led to the rise in farmer suicides. Use these issues to write a short play/skit that can be performed in your college square, or even in outside spaces like a canteen.
Make sure to write in characters that best represent the different facets of your idea; cast the actors as farmers, middlemen in the market, big seed corporation reps, or private moneylenders. Use minimal dialogue; your characters would struggle to deliver an entire Shakespearean soliloquy on trade injustices over the din of lunch hour at the canteen. Opt instead for symbolic action, prop usage, and punchy slogans. And don’t forget to include the Fairtrade Mark among your props!
Gather a host of materials from around your college and set up a scrap yard for your participants to make art installations out of junk. You could also go the more conventional route and provide participants with paints, charts, sketches and other stationary to create murals, paintings or even cartoon strips. Or, give participants a stack of magazines from across the board, and ask them to make a collage. Don’t forget to give them a theme to work with – Who Grew Your Clothes, Where Did Your Food Come From, or anything else that jumps out at you from the resource material you peruse.
What do you see when you look at Fairtrade products? A new school or health facility? Investment in better farming techniques? Co-operation between small-scale farmers to become stronger together? Bringing this to life in a giant sculpture or mock-up of a school classroom, health clinic, water well or farm not only makes a great activity for all to get involved with but helps tell your Fairtrade story and grabs the attention of passers-by and the media.
Here’s a picture of a mural made by Arzu Mistry and Amitabh Kumar in association with the Max Mueller Bhavan in Bangalore.
The great thing about flash mobs is that they work well as a curtain raiser to generate publicity for your events at Fairtrade Weekend on campus, like the modern day college equivalent of the medieval town crier.
Start on the morning of your event, just as the students gather before classes, throw in an upbeat tune, and break into a co-ordinated dance in your college’s public spaces. You might want to practice it with your core group (improvise on the spot and you could put your dance partner’s eye out) and let whoever else wants join in on the sport. Make sure you have an MC of sorts who makes an announcement at the end about the Fairtrade Weekend activities and where students can find a schedule.
Here are some videos for inspiration. They have used Fairtrade bananas, what can you rustle up with say, Fairtrade tea or cotton?