The student campaign group People & Planet has successfully persuaded supermarket giant Tesco to increase its offer of Fairtrade lines.
Their ‘Wear Fair’ campaign, which aims to see all UK pupils kitted out in Fairtrade cotton uniforms by 2015, has gained momentum after Tesco agreed to increase its Fairtrade lines by 50% in the next two years. As a result, Tesco will become the UK’s leading provider of Fairtrade cotton school uniforms, overtaking rival Marks & Spencer.
According to research commissioned by People & Planet, nearly 70% of pupils as well as many parents would like uniforms to be made from Fairtrade cotton, particularly at a time when cotton producers are facing severe financial hardship.
Anna Heywood, a mother of two from Newcastle said: "I want to ensure that no one has been exploited in making my children's school uniform but like most parents I haven't got the time or knowledge to start investigating the supply chain of my daughter's school jumper or all the different ethical schemes that the High street stores and supermarkets claim to sign up to. The Fairtrade label is the only guarantee that can instantly assure me that the producers are being treated fairly."
People & Planet now hope that other major retailers will follow suit.