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Mary Embry
Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design

Last modified: Tuesday, November 29, 2011

IU's Fair Trade Holiday Sale Dec. 1, 2 at Indiana Memorial Union

Nov. 28, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Artisan-crafted items from more than 30 countries will be available for purchase at Indiana University's eighth annual Fair Trade Holiday Sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, and Friday, Dec. 2, in the Frangipani Room at the Indiana Memorial Union.

The event is a part of the Fair Trade Bloomington project, a nonprofit organization created by IU's Students in Free Enterprise, or SIFE, to increase support and awareness of enterprises that build sustainable businesses in the developing world.

The sale will feature handmade jewelry, holiday ornaments, baskets, woolens, tableware, textiles, toys and other items. It will also include items from the Indianapolis-based The Village Experience, a socially proactive business that sells fair trade products produced by artisan groups visited during international trips. Baskets will also be available from Nyaka, made by the grandmothers of the Nyaka Aids Orphans Project in Uganda, started by Twesigye J. Kaguri.

The sale will also feature product by Mayan Hands, a fair trade organization in Guatemala. SIFE student Linda Xiong traveled to work the artisan weavers in January, returning with products created for the Bloomington shopper, including a crimson and cream ID holder.

"The Fair Trade Sale not only supports women in Guatemala but many artisans around the world," Xiong said. "Shoppers will find unique gifts that will actually end up giving twice, as I've seen firsthand how these products support whole communities."

The concept of fair trade is based upon 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 using environmentally sound practices.

IU's SIFE formed Fair Trade Bloomington to help educate area residents about contributing to global economic development and poverty relief through promotion of products that adhere to fair trade principles. The organization's activities are supported by the IU Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design in the College of Arts and Sciences both financially and with guidance from faculty advisers who facilitate the students' ability to design and execute their projects.

SIFE is led by Professor Mary Embry and Ashley Hasty, faculty members within the Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design department. For more information, visit For more information about the IU Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design, visit