Tag Archives: Sustainability

Facemask workshops: we need your help!

The UC Sustainability Office and the Student Volunteer Army are exploring the idea of running some facemask workshops in the coming weeks. Our goal is to make a large amount of reusable facemasks accessible for our UC staff and student community – but we need your help!

In order to make these workshops happen, we’re gauging interest from our community for donations of the following:

  • Cotton fabric – of any colour and pattern
  • Any form of elastic or cotton tape
  • Thread of any colour
  • Sewing machines – these will be either a) operated only by you for the duration or part duration of the workshop or b) used by students or staff with sewing experience only.
  • Any time you may be willing to lend or sewing wisdom you are willing to share to help us ensure these workshops are a success!

If you’re interested in donating any of the above, would like to volunteer at a workshop with us or have any questions please contact Chloe Wium on chloe.wium@canterbury.ac.nz.

At this stage we are gauging interest with our community and seeing what resources we have available on our campus. Following this, we will begin to coordinate workshops – so stay tuned!

Please note: prior sewing experience is not necessary for volunteering at this workshop – we’ll need plenty of hands-on help with non-sewing tasks like cutting fabric, ironing and more. Please get in touch if you’re interested in being involved.




If you’re keen to give making one a try yourself this weekend, we recommend using this straightforward and beginner-friendly tutorial here. Don’t have access to a sewing machine? You can hand stitch, or pop in and visit the Te Rua Makerspace in Puaka-James Hight Library!


This message was bought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on FacebookInstagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability. For more information on sustainability at UC, see our website.





Get involved this Fairtrade Fortnight

Welcome to Fairtrade Fortnight: two weeks of celebrating and learning all about fair trade, ethical supply chains and how we as consumers can support a more just and equal trade system for producers all around the world.

There may be actions in your daily routine that you don’t think twice about, like putting on a t-shirt or sipping a morning cup of coffee. However, if you take a closer look at these threads or ask yourself where the coffee beans are coming from, you’ll find stories (both good and bad) behind these everyday products we consume.

By purchasing products that are certified through Fairtrade or the World Fair Trade Organisation, you’re standing with millions of farmers, producers and workers around the world and empowering communities by tackling poverty, gender inequality and poor working conditions.

So what happens when I purchase something labelled as Fairtrade?

To buy a Fairtrade product means you are a part of one of the largest movements for change. Fairtrade certification can help lift a farmer or worker out of poverty, give a child an education, and grow a community or a business. Fairtrade is a tool for creating change.

How does it work?

  • The Fairtrade Minimum Price: Protects small-scale farmers against falling prices by ensuring a fixed minimum price for producers. This is particularly important for communities working in volatile industries like coffee and cocoa farming. Many sectors often force a farmer to sell below the cost of production, perpetuating a cycle of poverty and inequality.
  • The Fairtrade Premium: Is a fixed additional amount of money that provides farmers and workers with the capacity to invest in improving the quality of their businesses and communities.

Check out this video below of a coffee co-operative in Papua New Guinea, Highlands Organic Agriculture Cooperative. The money they receive from HOAC through the Fairtrade Premium is used to invest in access to clean drinking water, roofing irons, pulping machines, and most importantly: classrooms for their children.

How can I get involved?

Come and participate in UC Sustainability’s events over the next two weeks, and get behind the fair trade movement with us!

Fairtrade and the SDGs Film Night

Learn about and delve into the connection between fair trade and the UN Sustainable Development Goals at our film night next week! Plus, free pizza and Fairtrade chocolate provided. See the Facebook event here.

Clothes Swap Party

Learn about the impact that the fast fashion industry has on our people and our planet at our Clothes Swap Party! Donate your good quality clothes you no longer wear and come away with some ‘new’ second hand threads, for free. BYO cup and sip on a Fairtrade coffee as you browse. See the Facebook event for all the details and how to participate here.

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on FacebookInstagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability. This is part of our contribution to Fairtrade Fortnight, where we encourage our UC community to get involved and support the empowerment of producers overseas. If you’d like some more information on our Fair Trade University, see our website.

Catch up with the Beeswax Wrap Workshop in the Te Rua Makerspace

On Wednesday 22 July we ran a very successful Beeswax Wrap making workshop in the Te Rua Makerspace, in conjuction with UC Sustainability. We had about 100 people through the door and alot of fun was had by all. The overwhelming feedback we had was that it was a relaxing, fun and engaging activity, and an excellent promotion for the new Makerspace.