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Mary Embry
IU Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design

Last modified: Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fair Trade Bloomington launches annual holiday sale

Nov. 15, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Fair Trade Bloomington, a nonprofit organization created by Indiana University's Students In Free Enterprise organization (SIFE), announced it would hold its third annual holiday sale.

The sale will occur on Nov. 29 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Indiana Memorial Union on the IU Bloomington campus and on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at University Baptist Church, 3740 E. Third St. in Bloomington.

The holiday sale will feature artisan-made goods from more than 30 countries, including handmade jewelry, holiday ornaments, baskets, carvings, tableware, textiles and toys.

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 holiday sale 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.

"Fair Trade products are beautiful and unique, making them perfect for giving something very different at the holidays. They also have extra value in that proceeds from the sales are directed to areas worldwide to improve living standards," says Anna Fried, SIFE Fair Trade Bloomington project leader.

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.