Tag Archives: sustainability

Want to see how we celebrated Fairtrade Fortnight on campus?

Last week, UC Sustainability celebrated all things ethical and fair trade with one of our favourite events of the year: our annual Fair Trade Fair! Missed out? Read on, we’ve put together a highlights reel so you can see what we got up to.

 

Held in the beautiful Haere-roa, we welcomed over 200 students and staff to come and learn about fair trade, try some yummy (and fairly traded) goodies, and meet our suppliers who make our Fair Trade University possible. The fair trade cold brew, banana smoothies (made by pedal power on a smoothie bike of course!) and hot chocolates went down an absolute treat, and we loved seeing our suppliers share their stories of the real people and communities behind their products.

What is fair trade, and why should we care?

Fair trade supports marginalised farmers and workers in developing countries. By supporting them, we’re enabling them to take better care of their environment and to build a better life for themselves, their families and their communities. From the coffee you drink, the chocolate you eat and the clothes you wear – products that are fairly traded create a real, positive difference in people’s lives. By choosing to buy fair trade, we are guaranteeing producers receive a minimum price regardless of global trends. We’re also ensuring that workers receive liveable wages, safe working conditions, access to clean water and schooling for their children.

Our University has been proudly Fair Trade since 2017. To learn more about who we’re working with to make our University fair trade, and real  examples of what they are doing for their communities, check out the suppliers stories below (and spot them in the photos!)

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope you enjoyed seeing our fair trade celebrations – and we’ll see you again next year!

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. Big thanks to Corey Blackburn and Mark McNeill from UC Marketing for the photos and videos of the event.

UC Alumni founds ethical soical enterprise

It’s Fairtrade Fortnight! Over the next two weeks, UC Sustainability is sharing stories of people connected to UC who are working to make the world a fairer place. Sneha Pulapaka graduated from UC in 2017 and has since started a social enterprise called The Native Loom which works with marginal artisan, weavers and tailors in rural South India. We recently caught up with her to learn more about what her business does, and the impact it is having on a community across the world.

You’re UC Alumni! What did you study during your time at UC?

Yes I am proudly UC alumni, I spent one of my best years at UC. I enrolled into course at School of Health Sciences at UC. I completed my Post-Graduate Diploma in Health Sciences, with an endorsement in Health Information Management from University of Canterbury.

My time at UC was full of new experiences, meeting people and acquiring some entrepreneurial skills.

 Since graduating, you’ve founded your own social enterprise, The Native Loom. When and where did this story begin?The earliest memory of sustainable textiles is from my childhood. As children, my sister and I wore handmade clothes and I remember my mother repurposed her old cotton sarees as baby clothes, nappies and baby quilts for both of us. The texture of the fabric was so soft and even after years it didn’t tarnish. While in college, I had this idea of repurposing an old dress of mine into new, so I got crafty and sew some coloured sequins. A few years ago, I visited some artisan clusters within rural South India and learnt more about how they made textiles. I was fascinated by the fact that all these textiles were actually woven by a person on a hand loom, which is very labour intensive. The process involves sourcing sustainable cotton, followed by preparing the yarn, dyeing the yarn and then weaving it over the hand loom. This process summarises the most sustainable way a piece of textile can be made.

I learnt that it takes 10 days for a weaver to weave a saree that is around 6 yards. Hand loom weaving skills are traditional skills, practised from generations. Within a family of artisans, you will see that all members participate in textile production process. Unfortunately, these skills are at the verge of extinction as there are no young people ready to learn the traditional textile making skills. And also, the fact that artisan communities need to compete with power loom is what drove me to help these artisan communities and The Native Loom was born.

Tell us about the ethos behind your business.

“People, Planet and Culture”

We are about all of these things: ethically made textiles, empowering artisan communities and caring for our planet through eco-friendly products. At The Native Loom, we believe our choices matter so we have carefully curated our products not just because they are natural or organic and ethical but because the people and the stories behind them benefit directly from our support, both through purchase of the products and through the giving of our profits back to these communities and also projects here in New Zealand. Our actions preserve the planet, empower the lives of artisan communities and provides possibilities to future generations.

What products are being made, and by whom?

We currently produce natural fibre based textile products. Our collections include homewares such as fruit and veggie produce bags, reusable tea bags, accessories such as totes, scarves and earrings.All products are designed here in New Zealand and made in India. Our artisan groups comprise of women from marginalized communities, they are part of cooperatives/self-help groups based in Southern India. The artisans work with only GOTS certified organic cotton.

We’d love you to share any key learnings you’ve had over the last year.

Sustainability is not a one off, it is a gradual process that becomes a way of living eventually. We consciously need to take notice of how we produce and consume together as a community and it’s no different for us as a social enterprise. Producing sustainable textiles is just part of what we do as a social enterprise. Building communities that thrive is our vision.Key Learnings:

  • Over the last year we had some leftover fabric post our production and we didn’t want to waste so we repurposed them as product tags, accessories like earrings, necklace, hair ties etc. We saved around 9 kgs of textile from going into landfills. Solutions are all around us and we just need to take a close look.
  • As a social enterprise based out in New Zealand and working with artisans from another country, it can be very overwhelming at times. The Native Loom is all about collaboration and communication plays a key factor in this process. We take measures to keep open communication with our artisan groups. It is very important that we hear them out first and how they plan to approach things. So we learn together and grow.
  • Over the last year we were able to empower 14 women from our partner groups in achieving fair wages and safe working conditions. We were able to eliminate the use of over 1,435 single use plastic bags and saved over 1,000 liters of water. We also donated our profits to support native New Zealand tree planting through the Million Meters Streams Project here in Aotearoa.

Where to next for The Native Loom? 

  1. Ethical: Our plan over the next three years is to provide a platform for the weaver and artisan communities through a digital interface. We are also working on reaching more artisan clusters that ensure safe working conditions and fair wages.
  2. Ecological: We plan to support more native tree planting projects and other environmental initiatives within New Zealand and also in Southern India.
  3. Empowering: We plan to empower women artisans with education and entrepreneurial skill training so they can use the digital interface (that we plan to develop) with confidence. Also, we plan to launch artisan and weaver well-being programs over the next two years that include health and nutrition.

Want to learn more about Sneha and The Native Loom’s story? Catch her at our Fair Trade Fair on Wednesday 14 August, 11am – 1pm in Haere-roa. We’ll be showcasing the incredible suppliers that make our Fair Trade University possible, and celebrate the impact they are having on communities around the world. See the Facebook event here for all the details.

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. For more information on the fair trade movement, see the Fairtrade NZ website.

 

 

 

Who won the 2017 Supreme Sustainability Award?

Nominations for the 2019 UC Sustainability Awards are now open!

To celebrate, we caught up with the Supreme Winner from 2017, Glynne Mackey. We wanted to share her story of sustainability and social justice with you, and inspire you to think of who you will nominating for a Sustainability Award this year.

Nominations for the Sustainability Awards are open from now until  31 August. The nomination forms and all the information can be found on our website.

In the meantime, enjoy hearing from Glynne Mackey, Senior Lecturer in the College of Education, Health and Human Development.

L-R: Glynne Mackey, Wendy Lawson and Matt Morris

Introduce yourself!

Nga mihi nui.

Sustainability and social justice has been significant during my childhood and young adult years. As a primary school teacher, I could see how excited and engaged children became when learning about their world; the environment; their relationships with their family, place and community. Since I began lecturing in 2004, I have been involved in teaching courses on sustainability and social justice to both early childhood and primary UC students.

You’re a senior lecturer in teacher education. Tell us about your work at UC, and how you came to develop courses on sustainability and social justice.

I came as a lecturer in the early childhood programmes at the College of Education. A colleague was trialling a year 3 course for preservice early childhood teachers and I asked to be involved. It is great to be able to teach in the area where I have interest and passion. This was a compulsory course and gave all EC teachers the knowledge and confidence to take their learning into teaching teams where they were employed. Since 2012, Sustainability and Social Justice has been an option for all EC and Primary students in the final year of their degree. I have worked with other inspired lecturers in this course, each has added new perspectives and new energy. The course now has a focus on the values associated with sustainability and social justice, such as caring for self, others and the environment; being an advocate for children and the environment; recognising children’s agency; teachers and children taking action in the community; and reflecting on how they, as teachers, have a responsibility to the centre or school community to uphold the principles of sustainability and social justice.

My involvement is not just about teaching. I have joined University groups and committees and presently on the UC Sustainability Reference Group. I have also developed a Sustainability Strategy for the College of Education, Health and Human Development.

What has been a significant moment for you on this journey?

There have been several moments! The most powerful moments come from past students I meet who tell me what the course still means to their teaching practice and how they have continued to make it part of their teaching commitment and philosophy. I know from their enthusiasm that children will be contributing to make their communities a better place.

Another significant moment has been to have had influence on the document for all teachers in Aotearoa New Zealand. ‘Our Code. Our Standards’ (Education Council, 2017) sets out the professional responsibilities for the teaching profession ‘in shaping futures by promoting and protecting the principles of human rights, sustainability and social justice’.  With the statement now embedded in the document, there will be a requirement for teacher education, teacher registration and professional development programmes to show evidence of how this professional responsibility will be achieved from early childhood, through primary and secondary.

You won the Supreme Award at the 2017 Sustainability Awards! Wow! Could you tell us more about this?

Amazing! When I counted up the years I have been teaching degree courses and the number of students involved, it becomes apparent that education has the power to change and impact on the learning of children and young people. The ripples from the courses have spread widely into early childhood and primary. Winning the award is recognition of the importance of teacher education to lead change and build relationships and my role in being part of that.  I am encouraged by UC initiatives that promote research and teaching in areas of sustainability and social justice.

Where to next for you?

Through my research, I have made strong international connections with a growing research community involved in early childhood education for sustainability. These connections continue to provide opportunity for me to collaborate in academic publications, attend international conferences and contribute to international documents on education for sustainability and social justice.

My present research with colleagues will produce a resource for teachers to reflect, review and document their sustainability practices and explore social justice issues. The resource or tool kit easily accessed by all teachers is intended to motivate and inspire teaching teams and individual teachers to extend their sustainable practices and respond in a meaningful way to social and cultural issues in their educational setting.

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 blog is part of our communications plan for the 2019 UC Sustainability Awards. For more information, and for the Awards nomination form, see our website.

Fair Trade Fair next week!

Come and meet the suppliers who make our Fair Trade University possible!

As part of Fairtrade Fortnight (Aotearoa’s biggest fair trade campaign) the UC Sustainability Community is holding a Fair Trade Fair on Wednesday 14 August, so you can meet our campus fair trade suppliers (and most importantly, try their yummy fairly traded treats!).

What can you expect?

  • Common Good Coffee Roasters providing free fair trade filter coffee to sip on while you chat, and a chance to WIN a bag of their coffee beans to take home
  • Karma Cola will be there handing out tasters of their delicious, fair trade, feel good fizz
  • We’ll be cranking the smoothie bike thanks to fair trade banana company, All Good Organics (plus your chance to win a box of bananas!)
  • Trade Aid will have your chocolate cravings covered, with a chance to try their whole fair trade, organic chocolate range
  • The Native Loom will be showing off their ethically made, organic produce bags and textiles
  • And Office Max will be there teaming up with Robert Harris to bring you some fair trade cold brew coffee samples, as well as surprising you with their huge range of fair trade goodies available to order through Unimarket.

What: Fair Trade Fair
When: Wednesday 14 August, 11am – 1pm
Where: Haere-roa
What to bring: a cup for your coffee and/or banana smoothie!

For more information, check out the Facebook event here.

See you there!

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. For more information on the fair trade movement, see the Fairtrade NZ website.

Fairtrade Fortnight is here!

From the 2 – 15 August 2019, we’re celebrating all things fair trade and ethical –  because it’s officially Fairtrade Fortnight! We’d love for you to come on this journey with us, as we stand with organisations around Aotearoa to raise awareness that trade isn’t always fair.

What is fair trade and why should we care?

Fair trade supports marginalised farmers and workers in developing countries. By supporting them, we’re enabling them to take better care of their environment and to build a better life for themselves, their families and their communities. From the coffee you drink, the chocolate you eat and the clothes you wear – products that are fairly traded create a real, positive difference in people’s lives. By choosing to buy fair trade, we are guaranteeing producers receive a minimum price regardless of global trends. We’re also ensuring that workers receive liveable wages, safe working conditions, access to clean water and schooling for their children. If you’re interested to see what fair trade looks like in action, check out this video of coffee farmers in Papua New Guinea.

We’re committed to supporting fair trade, and UC has been a Fair Trade Accredited University since 2017. That means all the coffee found in campus cafes is 100% Fairtrade certified, you can find a range of fair trade chocolate and sweet treats on campus, and you can order a huge selection of fair trade goods through Unimarket for your department kitchens. Yum!

Get involved with us this Fairtrade Fortnight! You can join us in a couple of different ways:

  1. Choose to buy fair trade food and drink – both on and off campus. You can tell if something is guaranteed fair trade by looking for these two symbols:

As well as in our campus cafes, you can find fair trade goodies like chocolate, coffee, tea, sugar, cocoa and even ice cream (!) at New World, Countdown and in organic stores like Piko Wholefoods.

2. Follow along on our social media channels as we share stories from our UC fair trade suppliers, and the chance for you to enter in our sweet (and fair) giveaways – find our UC Sustainability Community Facebook page here.

3. Attend our Fair Trade Fair next week – it’s our annual fair trade celebration on campus! This year, we’re holding our Fair on Wednesday 14 August from 11am – 1pm. It’s a great chance to meet our UC suppliers, and try their yummy fairly traded treats. See the Facebook event here for all the details.

4. Check out Fairtrade NZ’s webpage, or follow their socials for more info on fair trade, the fair trade movement, and the impact this has on communities around the world.

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. For more information on the fair trade movement, see the Fairtrade NZ website.