Fairtrade/No Sweat Clothing
 
This Association Notes:
 
That Fairtrade standard ensures that the interests of all people involved with the production of a product – including farmers and garment-workers – are paid a fair living wage, and have decent working conditions.   Further, steps are also taken to ensure a cooperative working structure and social investment is maintained in the communities where materials are sourced.  The Fairtrade standard also ensures basic environmental standards in the farming, production and transport of goods.
 
The No Sweat standard and similar standards such as that of the Workers’ Rights Consortium (hereafter referred to as the No Sweat standard), ensure that a minimum wage, the rights of workers to unionise, freedom from gross harassment and the right to decent working conditions in factories are all guaranteed in the course of the factory production of a product.
 
There can be no guarantee that any supplier who does not subscribe to the above standards does not engage in the gross exploitation of the workers involved in the production of their product.
 
The standards outlined [above] have, and are likely to continue to become, increasingly economically viable as they alone supply an ever-expanding sector:  that of the conscientious consumer.
 
EUSA’s current suppliers do not subscribe to the standards outlined [above]. One of EUSA’s major current suppliers, Fruit of the Loom, have been implicated in a range of abuses, including:  Forced pregnancy tests for women at their own expense, amounting to up to two weeks wages;   Wages of 3.5 cents per shirt whose retail value is $9.98;  wages amounting to less than half a day’s basic food budget for a family;  Union-breaking operations – including the use of militia;  imposition of overtime without compensation, and;  appalling working conditions with no concern for the workers’ health and wellbeing.
 
Edinburgh University’s status as Scotland’s first Fairtrade university and that nearly 1000 students voted in favour of the Fairtrade standard vis-à-vis food and beverages.
 
That No Sweat clothing has been successfully integrated into the range of apparel offered by hundreds of academic institutions in the US, sometimes as exclusive suppliers.
 
 
This Association Believes:
 
Fairtrade and No Sweat, respectively, represent the best available standards by which to ensure that EUSA’s clothing is sourced in a manner in keeping with the beliefs of most EUSA members.
 
That the following scenarios represent, in order of preference, desirable improvements to the Student Associations’ current policy:
 
  • An entirely Fairtrade supply of clothing
  • No Sweat clothing with a Fairtrade option available
  • Fairtrade and/or No Sweat clothing options available at EUSA shops
 
That EUSA should ensure that, as an immediate objective, a line of Fairtrade and/or No Sweat clothing is made available and advertised through EUSA shops for appropriate items for which these alternatives are available.
 
That EUSA should further seek to continue to expand the number of Fairtrade and No Sweat items available as and when it becomes viable to do so, and seek to eventually make Fairtrade and/or No Sweat suppliers the standard clothing source for all appropriate items where these options are available and affordable.
 
That the current motion is in keeping with the spirit of Edinburgh University’s status as a Fairtrade university and the position taken by over 1000 students who voted for Fairtrade food and beverage in 2003.
 
The University of Edinburgh should pursue the same goals outlined in this motion for EUSA.
 
The ability of EUSA to negotiate and operate as a part of multi-product buying consortiums should not be marginalised by anything in the present motion.
 
 
This Association Resolves:
 
To mandate The President and Vice-President Services to ensure that, as an immediate objective, a line of Fairtrade and/or No Sweat clothing is made available and advertised through EUSA shops for appropriate items for which these alternatives are available.
 
To mandate the President and Vice-President Services to ensure that EUSA works to expand the number of Fairtrade and No Sweat items available as and when it becomes viable to do so, and seek to eventually make Fairtrade and/or No Sweat suppliers the standard clothing source for all appropriate items where these options are available and affordable.
 
To take all possible steps, in fulfilling the above resolutions, to ensure that any buying consortium, current or future, uses Fairtrade and/or No Sweat clothing suppliers to the fullest possible extent, where such items are available and affordable.
 
To use, if necessary and at the nearest possible date, EUSA’s extra-consortium buying allowance to ensure that EUSA members and members of the public have access to Fairtrade and/or No Sweat clothing at EUSA outlets.
 
To supply Fair Trade or No Sweat uniforms for all EUSA staff as and when they become available and affordable.
 
To encourage the University to adopt similar criteria in their clothing procurement to those outlined above, both for non-EUSA University shops, staff uniforms and other apparel.
 
The President, in conjunction with the Fairtrade steering group, will produce a bi-annual report on steps taken pursuant to the goals outlined above including the following:
 
  • Progress made pursuant of the goals outlined above
  • Steps taken pursuant with the goals outlined above
  • Plans for further steps to be taken pursuant with the goals outlined above
  • To make any such report available to members of EUSA and to provide a public forum for feedback and discussion of all such reports not more than two weeks subsequent to publication.
 
To mandate the President and Vice-President Services to ensure all the above is carried out.
 
 
Passed at the November 2004 General Meeting