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Meet fairandfunky friends (blog #19)

Meet fairandfunky friends is our blog series to get to know the people behind fairandfunky, the people we work with, and how together, we take little steps to change the world. We are constantly inspired by the people we meet and love being able to share their stories. This Fairtrade Friday we welcome Andy from Koolskools to answer our questions…..

Who are you, where are you from and what do you do?  My name is Andy Ashcroft and I am the Managing Director of Koolkompany Ltd trading as “Koolskools” in the school uniform sector, and  “SUstainable” In the University clothing sector. My role is multi-faceted, as you might expect, ranging from visiting schools to run Fairtrade Assemblies, spearheading sales and marketing, managing our relationship with our ethical supply chain in India, and even extending to “hands on” helping in our Southampton retail shop during the busy summer “back to school” sales season!

What makes you a fairandfunky friend? We love what fairandfunky does and we have seen them in action! Like us, they go into schools and effectively speak to the consumers of the future about Fairtrade and sustainability, so we like to think that we have many good things in common. We have been friends with fairandfunky for many years and we find their enthusiasm for what they do both infectious and inspiring!

What little steps do you take to change the world? We take lots of little steps, ranging from only making our clothing labels, swing tickets and all packaging etc from recycled materials, to supporting two girls‘ secondary schools in the marginalised cotton farming region of Telangana, India, where our Fairtrade-organic cotton is grown and where 80% of the students are daughters of cotton farmers.Every so often I visit India and spend time working with the cotton farmers during the cotton harvest. I do this to learn more about these wonderful communities and how Fairtrade helps them, and so that I can pass on more to UK school children and University students about sustainable cotton farming.

Who influences or inspires you? And why? That’s an easy one to answer: the factory workers and cotton farmers that work so hard to produce our Fairtrade-ECO clothing!

How do YOU inspire others to take little steps to change the world? Like our good friends fairandfunky we love visiting schools all over the UK, engaging with students of all ages and sharing our Fairtrade story. Hopefully we can inspire more than one or two along the way!

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