Yesterday afternoon York University’s largest Faculty, Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS), welcomed more than 4,000 new students, proudly providing them with Fair-trade and Organic-certified t-shirts.
This initiative was one more demonstration of the Faculty’s commitment to engage in sustainability on an operational level.
“Social justice is a key foundation of our Faculty, and support for fair labour practices and environmental responsibility naturally follow,” said LA&PS Dean Ananya Mukherjee-Reed. “The commitment to sustainability that our students bring to LA&PS further inspires our dedication to ethical and responsible practices.”
The shirts were made in Tamil Nadu, India by Assisi Garments, a company that began as a rehabilitation center, but now employs over 300 marginalized and physically challenged women. Assisi is able to support retirement homes, cancer treatment facilities, and clinics using the extra income generated by the fair trade premiums that they receive from their products.
10% of the world’s pesticides and 25% of the world’s insecticides are used to produce cotton.
Assisi’s sales growth has greatly increased the prevalence of Organic cotton production in India. This not only reduces the amount of agro-chemicals used in cotton production, but is rehabilitating previously damaged farm land.
York University’s unique interdisciplinary approach to learning enables students to bridge the gaps that are commonly believed to exist between disciplines like business and the environment. We at Fair Trade Toronto are happy to see that this approach is being taken to such great levels on an administrative level.