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Mary Embry
Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design

Last modified: Monday, November 16, 2009

IU's Fair Trade Bloomington to host holiday sale Dec. 3 at IMU

Nov. 16, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Fair Trade Bloomington, a nonprofit organization created by Indiana University's Students in Free Enterprise organization (SIFE), will host its fifth annual International Fair Trade Market Thursday, Dec. 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Frangipani Room at the Indiana Memorial Union.

Fair Trade Scarves

Fair trade scarves are among the merchandise that will be offered at IU's fifth annual Fair Trade Market Thursday, Dec. 3, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Frangipani Room of the IMU.

Print-Quality Photo

On sale will be artisan-made goods from more than 30 countries, including handmade jewelry, holiday ornaments, baskets, carvings, tableware, textiles and toys. Vendors will be Village Experience; Art Across the Americas; Imani Workshops, which is affiliated with the IU-Kenya Partnership; and two projects from IU Lecturer Claire Robertson: Ndethya wa Ngutethya Women's Group and Spurgeon School for AIDS Orphans in Kenya.

In addition, these items and Imani Workshops will be available at Congregation Beth Shalom's second annual Multi-Cultural Bazaar Sunday, Dec. 6, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., 3750 E. 3rd St., along with other decorative and functional art made by artists and craftspersons from Bloomington and around the world.

SIFE formed Fair Trade Bloomington to provide an opportunity for residents living in the Bloomington area to contribute to global economic development and poverty relief through education and promotion of products that adhere to fair trade principles. SIFE students use the Fair Trade Market as a learning experience and a means of reaching out to the community to explain how local consumer purchases of holiday gifts can benefit people worldwide. SIFE worked with Global Gifts (, a Fair Trade store out of Indianapolis, to open another branch of the store on the Square in downtown Bloomington last August.

"We hope the International Fair Trade Market can bring awareness to the new Global Gifts store, as well as offer the opportunity to purchase unique gifts that benefit the artisans and the developing communities they represent," said Elana Borchers, project leader for SIFE Fair Trade Bloomington.

The concept of fair trade is based on established business guidelines designed to improve the economic conditions of underdeveloped, poverty stricken countries. These guidelines include paying workers fair prices for their goods, paying workers in advance for goods, maintaining orders, monitoring working conditions, empowering women and being environmentally sound.

SIFE at Indiana University Bloomington is a student group advocating service-based learning in the principles of free enterprise. The group works on projects locally and globally that address improving skills in financial literacy, business ethics, entrepreneurship, market economics and success skills. The organization's activities are supported by the IU Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design (AMID) in the College of Arts and Sciences both financially and with guidance of faculty advisors who facilitate the students' ability to design and execute their projects.

SIFE is led by Professor Mary Embry, a Sam Walton Fellow and faculty member in the Retail Studies Program within the AMID department. For more information, see For more information about the IU Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design, see