Dance Marathon, known for making Loras the number one fundraising school per capita, is making a switch that, while appears small, has a large impact: going Fair Trade. The shirts that will be worn at the big event in April this year will be fair trade from a local Dubuque business, a new change for the organization.
“Fair Trade is based on the idea that as much as we all hope to be adequately appreciated and compensated for our hard work, the people who create the products we use should be treated the same way for their work, no matter their location, ethnicity, socio-economic status, or gender,” said Fair Trade intern Krissy Juarez.
The collaboration to make these shirts came from an overlap of student leadership in both organizations when Dance Marathon was in the process of ordering shirts and finalizing designs. Dance Marathon worked closely with Spiritual Life to design the shirts with their new vision in mind, and Juarez was excited about the collaboration.
“Human dignity is a major focus for the Peace & Justice community, and supplying students with Fair Trade products helps to promote ethical systems that seek to protect the human dignity of vulnerable people,” Juarez added. “So essentially, this is a win-win situation for us.”
The win-win situation transferred over to Dance Marathon well, as both organizations want children to enjoy their childhoods and live healthy, happy lives.
“We discussed that we should not limit the promotion of healthy children to those treated at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, but it should be a global mission,” said Michaela Dohleman, co-president of Dance Marathon.
Dohleman emphasized all money being fundraised for the hospital will continue to go towards the hospital, as Dance Marathon worked with Student Union to receive additional funding for the new shirts.
“With the approval (from Student Union), everyone was happy to agree to the decision,” Dohleman said.
Through the collaboration, a common ground was discovered between the two groups: campus organizations have a desire to create a positive atmosphere and create positive change on campus and in Dubuque.
“I think the ideals are supported through what Loras teaches,” Dohleman said. “We are supposed to be ethical decision-makers and responsible contributors. Buying Fair Trade is just one example of how to put those dispositions into action.”
“All the dispositions have been present in the decision to have Fair Trade shirts at Dance Marathon,” Juarez added. “I feel it shows a dedication to creating a community of conscious consumerism that not only encompasses Loras but also extends outside of it.”
Dohleman and Juarez both hope this collaboration will continue into the future and that other organizations will think more about Fair Trade options.
“The support of the other campus organizations really made this a reality and we hope the collaboration continues in the future, continuing conscious consumerism on campus,” Dohleman commented.
For any organization interested in ordering Fair Trade t-shirts, contact Juarez at Kristin.Juarez@loras.edu.