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Drama over Fair Trade Fashion

On Wednesday 18th May the RSPA drama team handed in bundles of fair trade postcards to the managers of 11 large clothing stores in Birmingham city centre.
This followed the successful tour of their show “Cheap & Cheerful?” in secondary schools around Birmingham, Cheshire and Suffolk as well as two shows at the MAC during Fair Trade Fortnight in March this year. The show was seen by nearly 3,000 people.
The audiences were invited to fill in a Fair Trade postcard to their favourite clothing store asking that they stock Fair Trade items. These stores include major clothing chains such as Primark, New Look and Next.
“In the past we’ve seen shops listen to customers requesting fair trade bananas and chocolate. Now the fair trade campaign is turning its attention to the fashion industry”, said Helen Farquharson – RSPA’s Co-ordinator.
The team had some positive feedback from the shops. The manager at Sports Direct said, “We know there’s a bad reputation [in sports clothing manufacture] and we’re not perfect but we’re doing the best we can…. We have a company AGM next week and I’ll take the postcards with me.
At Marks &Spencer the manager commented, “Fair trade is the direction we’re looking to go in. The customers seem to want it at the moment. We already do some. I’ll definitely pass it on to head office.”
The Cheap & Cheerful? show had a real impact in schools. Theresa Gardiner, the Head of Drama at Swanshurst school remarked, ‘’The performance of Cheap and Cheerful has such a positive impact on changing pupil perceptions. It was very engaging and the pupils thoroughly enjoyed the performance – inspiring them to create their own display on Fair Trade!’’