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UW-L student groups organize fair trade market

La Crosse Tribune, WI

One of the easiest ways to change the world is with your pocketbook.

That’s what Guy Wolf, who works in the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Office of Multicultural Student Services, tells students.

Starting Monday, several UW-L student organizations are taking those words to heart and counting on student and community pocketbooks to support fair trade.

With the beginning of the holiday shopping season, they’ve organized a fair trade market at UW-L’s Cartwright Center.

“People don’t think of where stuff comes from … they don’t think of who made it and if they got paid fairly,” said Erin Kasik, co-chairwoman for the Progressives, one of the UW-L student organizations arranging the event.

Fair trade promotes the payment of fair prices as well as social and environmental standards, Wolf said.

Shoppers at the fair trade market will find coffee, textiles, pottery, art work, soaps, ornaments and other handcrafted goods from all over the world, Wolf said.

Planning the event around the holidays encourages people to think of the impact of their gift, Kasik said.

“The holidays are supposed to be about caring for others less fortunate, but by purchasing objects at everyday stores, sometimes you are actually supporting companies with horrible human rights abuses,” she said. “With your dollar, you are voting for that treatment to continue.”

If you go

What: Fair Trade Market

When: 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday and 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Ward Room, Cartwright Center at UW-L

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