City hosts World Fair Trade Exhibition

City of Glasgow College played host to a special World Fair Trade photographic exhibition highlighting the new World Fair Trade Tartan.

The event also celebrated Villageworks which has developed from a small rural hand-weaving enterprise in Cambodia to a thriving global Fair Trade business producing World Fair Trade Tartan accessories.

Villageworks’ Director, Anak Norm, was making her first trip to Scotland and, together with The Lord Provost of Glasgow, Eva Bolander, was at the college to launch the exhibition and promote the World Fair Trade Organisation and Fair Trade Nation.

Paul Little, Principal and Chief Executive at City of Glasgow College said: 

“Our college is proud to support this inspirational partnership which includes our retail and marketing students who are working with Scottish Fair Trade Forum and Fair Trade Scotland to help promote the tartan. This not only provides a great learning experience for our students but is a continuation of our ongoing commitment to Fair Trade Status which our college achieved last year.”

Eva Bolander, Lord Provost of Glasgow said:

“This is an incredible collaboration of an inspiring handloom weaving enterprise in Cambodia, working hand in hand with our experts in Fair Trade and textiles in Scotland to create the first weave World Fair Trade Tartan accessories.

“Seeing skills reinvigorate and bespoke Fair Trade products being created as a result demonstrates the passion Anak shows to creating employment and supporting rural villagers, throughout Cambodia, in partnership with Fair Trade supporters here in Scotland.”

Anak Norm added:

“We are very excited to be part of this new venture, which will see the new World Fair Trade Tartan, incorporated into our extensive range of bags, scarves, ties and accessories from Cambodia. Our unique designs, combined with the skills of the artisans, make the new Fair Trade Tartan products a must for the ethically conscious consumer, wanting to buy into a truly sustainable supply chain.” 

Villageworks’ journey has been championed by Eve Broadis, Fair Trade Scotland and WFTO member and Tania Pramschufer, whose vision to create a World Fair Trade tartan triggered a series of exciting business opportunities for WFTO GS weavers around the globe. Both Eve and Tania attended the event together with Martin Rhodes from the Scottish Fair Trade Forum.

A full photographic exhibition will travel around Scotland over the course of the year focussing on Scotland as a Fair Trade Nation and the World Fair Trade Organisation, as well as the journey and process of weaving the first World Fair Trade Tartan.

Villageworks initially created employment for disabled workers and women in rural areas with products sold in their shop in Phnom Penh. In 2011 as donor grants ceased, Anak recognised that generating income and creating sustainable employment was a priority and they became Cambodia’s first WFTO Guaranteed Member, promoting Fair Trade through an audited supply chain and exporting their goods globally.

World Fair Trade Day 2018 takes place on Saturday 12 May.